When New Jersey parents start dealing with the child support system for the first time, some of the terminology used can be confusing and difficult to understand. It may also not be clear why some families handle child support privately while others are involved with a state system that manages the payment process. There are actually four different kinds of child support cases that deal with payment arrangements.
The four types of support cases are known as IV-D, IV-A, IV-E and non-IV-D child support matters. The term "IV" refers back to the 1975 Social Security Act's Title IV, which governs the funds provided by the federal government to states to aid needy families. An IV-D case is one where the Office of Child Support Enforcement is involved to establish paternity, enforce an existing order for child support or otherwise assist the custodial parent. On the other hand, IV-A cases are those in which the state is seeking child support from the non-custodial parent because the custodial parent receives public assistance. IV-E cases are similar; however, the children are in foster care or a relative's custody.
The majority of child support cases that emerge from divorce or other mutually agreed-upon proceedings are non-IV-D cases. For these cases, the parents handle the payment of child support between themselves. These scenarios can be transformed into IV-D matters if the non-custodial parent fails to abide by the payment obligations.
Dealing with child support may be a confusing landscape, but it can also be critical to the health and well-being of the children. A family law attorney could help a parent going through a separation deal with issues such as child custody and support.