Child support Program

Pro se filings are on the rise in New Jersey family courts.  In Essex County alone over 20,000 motions were filed in the family court last year---with over 80% of filings by self-represented litigants.  Pro se litigants are unaware of court rules and procedures which leads to greater challenges when they try to navigate the judicial system on their own.  Through VLJ’s Child Support Program volunteers work with pro se litigants to draft cohesive motions that identify key issues in the litigant’s case.  Litigants leave the clinic with a completed motion that they can file with the family clerk’s office.

Who can Participate?

Prior child support experience is not required to volunteer, however attorneys with family law experience are always welcome to join this program.   VLJ has training materials on child support modification and emancipation that must be reviewed prior to volunteering.  All new volunteers must commit to volunteering at least 1 clinic within 12 months.  New volunteers are encouraged to shadow an experienced volunteer at his/her first clinic.  

What do volunteers do?

Volunteers provide advice and prepare pleadings for clients who seeking child support modification and emancipation of adult children.  Volunteers assist clients who need to modify FM,  FD, and FV child support matters.  A VLJ staff attorney is present at every clinic and is available to answer volunteers’ questions.  The Child Support Program is open to all financially eligible clients with child support orders in Essex County, and residents of Essex County with child support orders in other NJ counties.  The program also assists veterans seeking to modify child support orders in counties around the state.  This is a by-appointment legal clinic, so the clinic can be extremely busy or quiet depending upon the demand that day.  Clinics are held on a quaterly basis in Newark, NJ.

How to sign up

To become a volunteer with VLJ’s Child Support Program, please fill out VLJ’s volunteer registration form.