New Jersey Child Support Collections and Fees
UPDATED: April 10, 2011
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An employer must enforce a wage garnishment order on the noncustodial parent until the order expires or the employer is otherwise notified to stop. Because an order for New Jersey child support garnishment is binding on the noncustodial parent's employer, the employer must make sure to contact the New Jersey Office of Child Support when the noncustodial parent's employment ends. This way, the employer will be relieved of any liability for unpaid amounts after the employee's termination. If the employer owes a lump-sum payment to the noncustodial parent, upon termination or at any other time, they are not required to report this lump-sum payment to the agency. If unsure about what counts as a lump-sum payment, the employer should contact the New Jersey Office of Child Support for more information.
Income Subject to Withholding for Child Support Garnishment
When a noncustodial parent receives an order for support, they must consider any source of their income as being subject to withholding. New Jersey defines "income" to include commissions, salaries, earnings, wages, rents, unemployment compensation, money acquired form a lawsuit, assets, inheritances, trusts, federal or state income tax refunds, homestead rebates, lottery or casino winnings, retirement or veterans' benefits, and any other earnings or periodic entitlements to money from any other source. When determining income subject to support, New Jersey follows the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) requirements, which base child support garnishment on a determination of disposable earnings.
Bonuses and Other Lump Sum Payments
New Jersey does not require employers to report lump-sum payments owed to employees subject to support orders.
Termination of Employment
If an employee retires, or otherwise terminates their employment with the employer, the employer should send a copy of the support order to the agency with the following information: company name, employee name and home address, date of separation of employment, and the pension administrator or new employer information, if known.
A New Jersey employer may subtract up to $1 per payment remitted for the costs of enforcing the support order. This fee should be deducted from the employee's earnings, and not the support payment itself. The employer should remember that the total fee and support payment may never exceed the maximum withholding limits.
Penalty for Noncompliance
If an employer fails to withhold the amount specified in the order, the noncustodial parent and the agency can bring an action against the employer. The employer may be held liable for the full, unpaid amount, as well as costs and attorneys' fees. Further, the employer will be subject to a fine to be determined by the court.
New Jersey State Office of Child Support – Contact Information
Department of Human Services
Office of Child Support Services
P.O. Box 716
Trenton, New Jersey 08625
Phone: (609) 584-5093, 1-877-NJKIDS1
Fax: (609) 588-2064