When parents of children decide to split, the determination of child support is often the most contentious issue. Both sides want what is best for the child but in today’s economy, providing for your child in the way you once did may be more difficult than it once was. When you are unable to make child support payments, in New Jersey, the authorities may get involved.
This is exactly what happened the week of July 17, when the Sherriffs’ Association of New Jersey worked with other law enforcement officials to conduct a three-day sweep throughout the state seeking parents who were not paying child support. The sweep resulted in 1,074 arrests and the collection of $211,000 in delinquent payments.
Coordinated by the Sherriffs’ Association of New Jersey and the Child Support Services office, sweeps such as these are biannual. The targets of the sweep were noncustodial parents who were either not paying the established child support payments or had not appeared at mandatory court hearings for the purpose of establishing child support or in some cases, medical support. Collectively, the parents targeted owed over $18.7 million.
In New Jersey, child support is calculated using a strict formula that among other things, takes into consideration the income of each parent, the cost of child care and the cost of health care. Though the formula is fixed, it is important to make sure it is correctly applied so the amount ordered is realistic for all parties.
Because child support awards are initially made taking into consideration the circumstances of both parents, both sides have the right to ask the court for a modification of support should circumstances change for either party.
The enforcement of child support is a serious issue in New Jersey. Many of the parents arrested in the July sweep may have avoided that fate had they taken steps to establish or modify existing child support orders.
Source: NJ.com, “More than 1,000 arrested in N.J. sweep targeting parents who owe child support,” Associated Press, July 23, 2011