65 Madison Ave · Suite 420 · Morristown, NJ · 07960

¡Attention TAC People!

Press 'p' on your keyboard to make this palette go away.

Max width: 1200px
Color Hex R G B
Blue from Logo#003d65 0 61 101
Darker Blue#021020 2 16 32
Red from Logo#780500 120 5 0
Darker Red#400000 64 0 0
Gray from Modern Firm Site#f3f2ed 243 242 237
Bright, Light Blue#ccebff 204 235 255
Form Input Background Blue#accfe6 172 207 230
Slightly Darker Blue#002e4d 0 46 77
Slightly Darker Gray#e6e5e0 0 46 77
Darker Gray#cccbc7 0 46 77
Lighter Logo Blue#005c99 204 235 255
Login Link Blue#598fb3 89 143 179
Slighty Lighter Red#99150f 153 21 15
Slighty Darker Gray#b3b2ae 179 178 174
Hunter Green#013b23 1 59 35
Lighter Green #025935 ? ? ?
Beige Charcoal #1f1e1e ? ? ?
"Metallic Gold" #D4AF37 ? ? ?
"Darker Green" #012e1b ? ? ?

Supreme Court Hears Argument Over Representation In Child Support Cases

New Jersey children are entitled to support from both parents, regardless of whether the parents are married or live together. Child support determinations are made in New Jersey by using a strict formula, and it is the role of an experienced family law attorney to see that the formula is properly applied.

Child support is also one of the few areas of American law where parents can be jailed for failing to pay a debt. Many fathers are jailed for failing to pay child support because a court can hold a delinquent father in civil contempt.

Civil contempt is not a criminal matter, but rather a coercive measure a court can use to force a person to comply with a court order. Many judges say that delinquent fathers “hold the keys to their own cells” because a father can be released by complying with the court’s child support order.

Fathers’ rights advocates say that the threat of jail should entitle poor fathers to a court-appointed attorney in child support hearings. The Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments on a case involving an indigent father who was jailed for being delinquent on his child support payments. The New York Times reports that the Justices appeared frustrated during oral arguments.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy told one attorney that a blanket rule requiring court-appointed attorneys would change the entire landscape of domestic relations proceedings. He also told a lawyer on the other side that a ruling requiring a court-appointed attorney in only some situations was likely unworkable and then mused as to what such a ruling would say.

“There’s no absolute right,” the Justice said. “But there might be in some other case, depending. We don’t give much help to the system that way.”

Source: New York Times, “Justices Grapple With Issue of Right to Lawyers in Child Support Cases,” Adam Liptak, 3/23/11

Begin Your Conversation

  • Disclaimer: Contacting our firm via the internet does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information through this form.

Contact Our Morris County Office

866-957-2982

973-828-0829

Morristown / Morris County Law Office

65 Madison Ave

Suite 420

Morristown, NJ 07960

Morris County Mediation Office Map