Child Support, Child Custody, and Parenting Time

Family disputes can be complicated. These resources are designed to help you with custody and support matters when divorce is not part of the case. 

Non-Dissolution  This docket type involves parenting and support issues in cases where no divorce is filed.

  • Child custody
  • Parenting time and visitation, including grandparents and siblings
  • Establishing paternity
  • Child Support
  • Spousal Support
  • Health insurance coverage

Who Can File?

  • A parent who is not married.
  • A parent who is married but has not filed for divorce, who wants to establish paternity, custody, parenting time, visitation, child support, or health insurance coverage.
  • A parent who is married and who wants spousal or health insurance coverage.
  • A grandparent or adult sibling who wants to file for custody, visitation, child support or health insurance coverage.
  • Anyone filing a counterclaim or a response to a complaint filed against them.

Note: If you are divorced or are seeking a divorce from the other parent, please use our divorce self-help resources.

What does "establish paternity" mean? 

If the couple is married, both parties are the legal parents of their child(ren). For unmarried couples, the legal father must be named in the court papers. This will ensure that both parents are legally responsible for supporting the child(ren). Paternity must be established in order to request child support from the legal father.

Do I need a lawyer to file a non-dissolution case?

  • The law, the proofs necessary to present your case, and the court process are complex. You should try to get a lawyer for this type of case.
  • Legal Services of New Jersey maintains a directory of regional legal services offices
  • The New Jersey Bar Association also maintains a list of county lawyer referral services that might be helpful.

Things to Think about Before You Represent Yourself in Court

While you have the right to represent yourself in court, you should not expect any special treatment, help, or attention from the court. You must still comply with the Rules of the Court, even if you are not familiar with them. The following is a list of some things the court staff can and cannot do for you. Please read it carefully before asking the court staff for help. 

  • We can explain and answer questions about how the court works.
  • We can tell you what the requirements are to have your case considered by the court.
  • We can give you some information from your case file.
  • We can provide you with samples of court forms that are available.
  • We can provide you with guidance on how to fill out forms.
  • We can usually answer questions about court deadlines.
  • We cannot give you legal advice. Only your lawyer can give you legal advice.
  • We cannot tell you whether or not you should bring your case to court.
  • We cannot give you an opinion about what will happen if you bring your case to court.
  • We cannot recommend a lawyer, but we can provide you with the telephone number of a local lawyer referral service.
  • We cannot talk to the judge for you about what will happen in your case.
  • We cannot let you talk to the judge outside of court.
  • We cannot change an order issued by a judge.