"Why should I have child support paid through the New Jersey Family Support Payment Center - New Jersey Probation Department rather than paid directly?"
When a child support order is entered or a Marital Agreement is signed, the parties can agree to have support payments made directly by check, direct deposit or cash (cash payments are never recommended).
In the alternative, the parties can agree, the court can Order or the Marital Agreement can require that payments be made through the New Jersey Family Support Payment Center (NJFSPC) instead of directly. The difference is significant.
If payment is direct there is no automatic increase by cost of living or automatic reviews. The court will not order an increase because a child is older and therefore costs more to raise. There will be no adjustment in the child support amount unless there is a substantial change in circumstances.
However if payments are made through the New Jersey Family Support Center - New Jersey Probation Department, there are automatic reviews every two or three years or automatic cost of living increases.
Also if payments are made through the New Jersey Family Support Center, the court will enforce the child support payments even to the point of incarceration for non-payment.
Ann O'Flanagan is an attorney who handles family law exclusively in Flanders, New Jersey.