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During a divorce proceeding the court ordered the father to pay 1xxx a month in child support through the court/state supervision arrangement.

The mother is living away from the father with the child. However, the father is refusing to pay via the court and has not paid anything yet. It's been over a month.

The father sent the mother some cash via Western Union and texted the mother to go get the money. The amount is about 1/3 of the total monthly amount ordered.

The mother is in dire need of the money and is nearly homeless with bills to pay with that money.

Enforcing a payment via the court takes a long time.

Will it harm the case if the mother retrieves the money? assuming she notifies the court or her attorney? Or should she refuse the money?

Refusing the money means that she won't have food/electricity/gas money as the money needs are that dire.

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    I don't see how it would harm the case, arrears are arrears, she should just inform the court of the partial payment (maybe keep a copy of the check and deposit slip). – Ron Beyer Jul 3 '18 at 20:20
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Disclaimer: I don't know the specific regulations of New Jersey, so this mostly describes the general practise in the United States. However, it seems the rules are roughly similar in all states.

During a divorce proceeding the court ordered the father to pay 1xxx a month in child support through the court/state supervision arrangement.

This is common in the United States - child support payments are usually not sent directly from one parent to the other, instead the paying parent sends money to a government agency (or has it taken from their wages). This agency is usually called State Disbursement Unit - though in New Jersey the agency responsible is the New Jersey Family Support Payment Center (NJFSPC). So the father was probably ordered to pay via NJFSPC.

Will it harm the case if the mother retrieves the money? assuming she notifies the court or her attorney? Or should she refuse the money?

No, this should not harm the case. As you write, the mother should definitely inform the court and / or NJFSPC about the payment (the lawyer should know how to handle this). If the court order requires the father to pay via NJFSPC, paying directly to the mother is already a violation - so the father is likely not acting legally.

While the accepted payment will likely count against the child support owed, it will not reduce the claim for child support in any other way - in particular it does not invalidate or reduce the court order to pay via NJFSPC.

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