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LAW Home > Legal Topics > Family and Relationships > Child Support > General Information

Child Support After TANF


If you are leaving welfare for any reason or you are getting close to your 60-month time limit, you may want to get legal advice about your child support situation.

  • If you do not have a child support order, you may want to try to get one.

  • If you do have a child support order, your child support should start coming directly to you after you stop collecting welfare. You should get advice about:

    1. Whether you are getting as much child support as you could;
    2. What to do if you have a child support order but no support is being collected; or
    3. What to do if support is being collected but is not being sent to you.

When you can change your child support order:

  • If your support order has not been changed for three years or more, you can ask the Welfare Office in your county to review your order to see if it should be different because of changes over the past three years.

  • Even if three years have not passed, you can ask the court to change your order if your circumstances have changed since the order was decided. For example, if the children's father has more income than he did before, or your children now have special health needs that require more support, you may be able to get your support increased. CAUTION: If you are working now, your income will be counted in figuring out child support. You will want to get advice about what to do because it is possible that your child support could be reduced if you apply for a change.

  • If the children's father has health insurance available through work, you can ask the court to change your order to add the children to his insurance plan if they are not on it now. If you still receive Medicaid, you may still want to get private health insurance through the father, especially if it provides more benefits than Medicaid.

  • If you need child care assistance for work related activities, including job searching, and the welfare agency is not assisting you, you may be able to get the court to order additional support for child care from the child's father.

If you want to ask the court to change your support order, you will need to go to the Family Court in your county and ask for help filing a motion to modify your support.

For advice and assistance: If you want advice or assistance about changing your child support order or collecting your support, you can contact Legal Services of New Jersey's statewide, toll-free legal hotline at 1-888-LSNJ-LAW (1-888-576-5529).​​