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Dear NJ State Senate, NJ State Assembly and Governor Chris Christie,

We are a state that has over 400,000 child support cases and 250,000 cases that have arrears. We have a state of custodial and non-custodial parents that are frustrated at how this system works. We have a system that is bursting at it's seams. We have a system that is not working and is effecting many children and families in the state of New Jersey.

We propose a serious effort to change our current NJ Child Support System. We propose that our NJ State Government publically announce a coalition that will address child support issues. We propose that this coalition look at changing the way in which we address enforcement, access, calculations, job placement and legal support. We want to be a part of this process and we want our voices heard.

You will start receiving emails that have "NJ CHILD SUPPORT CHANGE" in the heading. These emails will be from individuals and will be forwarded from You will be receiving this petition, a series of surveys and a letter from Facebook's New Jersey Child Advocacy & Support Alliance. We plan to have all of these completed by 7/1/2015.

We encourage you to read every story. We encourage you start thinking of ways that our system can change. We encourage you to start looking for key players that can assist in moderating a coalition to change the current NJ Child Support System.

You will find the most common issues are as follows:

ENFORCEMENT- It is not uncommon for a single parent to be struggling in New Jersey. It is not uncommon for a non custodial parent to owe amounts over $100,000. You will find that non custodial parents can "hide" and can work "under the table". You will find that custodial parents are frustrated that they know where the non-custodial parent is and they cannot get NJ to actively enforce the order. You will find non-custodial parents that have fallen behind on their child support obligations and feel that they must sever relationships with their children in order to avoid imprisonment. You will find non-custodial parents that cannot navigate the process in order to decrease payments and reestablish relationships with their children. You will find that jail is not a viable enforcement method because it does not help the non custodial parent pay the arrears. You will also hear that It is not a viable consequence because imprisonment is short term.

ACCESS- The NJKIDS website and hotline has been beneficial in some areas. However, speaking to a live person or getting in touch with our probation caseworkers has been near impossible. The hotline is set up so that it is difficult to find the option to speak to a person. We urge you to try this yourself. Custodial and Non Custodial parents are not able to contact their probation caseworker directly. They must call the hotline, get a real person on the phone and then ask that the caseworker call them. The hotline worker then leaves a message for the caseworker. The parent is told that they caseworker will call them in 2 business days. If the casework calls and the parent is with a customer at work, changing a dirty diaper or driving and cannot answer the phone....the process starts all over again. We deserve access to our case representatives in a timely manner.

CALCULATIONS- The calculations for child support does not clearly define what the parents are financially responsible for. These calculations do not include things that one or both parents responsibly pay for and the other may not. These expenses include extracurricular activities, back to school items, Halloween costumes, birthday parties and the many expenses that (if not up to a court room) the other parent will just not contribute.

JOB PLACMENT- NJ Child Support explains on their website that judges can enforce job placement. However, we have not seen this job placement or bank utilized. This is potentially a very good avenue for non custodial parents without jobs. We would like to see this become a bigger program within the child support system.

LEGAL SUPPORT- There are little (if any) legal assistance programs for the family division in any of counties. The forms and procedures are designed for lawyers in the family division. There are many parents that do not have the skills to complete this work and are either turned away or do not file a motion because they cannot do it. The judges in the family division hear pro se motions daily. We urge you to visit a courtroom in the family division and watch our Superior Court judges attempt to reiterate the laws repeatedly, try to understand oral arguments and deal with paperwork that is not done correctly or missing important documents. We then ask you to think of the custodial parent that is receiving no financial support and is working over 40 hours a week, caring for two school aged children, managing a household and does not have the education that you have. This parent needs legal assistance just to do the paperwork. We need a support center in each county to help with paperwork and legal advice.

We encourage other parents to tell their stories to their district representatives. We also encourage them to send their stories to: so that we can compile everyone's stories and send them together for our incredible impact in numbers. Our stories will also be presented on the Facebook page "New Jersey Child Support & Advocacy Alliance" at

We are the parents and community that shape New Jersey's youth. We deserve to be heard and we deserve basic, fundamental rights in our legal system.

Thank You,

NJ Custodial Parents, Non Custodial Parents, grandparents, NJ families, social workers, counselors, teachers, legal professionals and NJ communities that care about our children and families.

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