When a court orders child support payments and those payments go unmet, the court can issue a contempt order and ultimately an arrest warrant for the delinquent parent. That appears to be the case for two New Jersey men who were recently arrested for not paying child support. It is important to note in light of these two stories that it is possible to have a child support agreement modified by the court if circumstances warrant such a modification. For example, if a parent becomes disabled and is no longer able to work or earn the same amount of money previously earned, the family court will consider a modification request.
On the other hand, should circumstances change alternately for the better, for example the paying parent wins the lottery or inherits a large amount of money, the courts may also consider a modification request to increase child support payment amounts. However, regardless of the circumstances, if a parent is not paying his or her required child support the other parent does have some recourse with the help of law enforcement, if necessary. Two recent New Jersey cases prove it is possible to hold a parent accountable for not paying their child support.
A Pennsville man was arrested for owing more than $34,000 in past due child support. The 33-year-old father was arrested in Salem on two outstanding warrants from Salem County and was being held in the Salem County Correctional Facility in Mannington Township. And apparently officers were going after a number of warrants in a sweep conducted by the Salem County Sheriff’s Office when they also arrested a 45-year-old father from Woodbury on a warrant for past due child support totaling more than $800.
Child support is a necessary step in the parenting process, especially when parents divorce or separate and one parent maintains primary custody of the children. States generally use a formula of sorts as a guideline when determining child support amounts and include the incomes of both parents as well as other expenses, such as education and healthcare when determining an amount. The amount of parenting time and custody each parent has is also a factor in making a determination. Some or all of these aspects can change over time which may require a court to revisit child support orders.
Source: Today’s Sunbeam, “Pennsville man owing more than $34,000 in overdue child support arrested,” Oct. 22, 2012
Our Morris County, New Jersey family law practice represents families in transition, with divorce, child custody and child support enforcement issues.