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What Happens If A Parent Refuses To Pay Child Support

Custodial parents in New Jersey who have been awarded child support are grateful to known that it is enforced by a variety of agencies and across state lines. Child support is court-ordered, and not fulfilling this obligation may result in incarceration if it remains unpaid. The court should be notified immediately of any delinquency. Support is used to care for children, and this responsibility may not be disregarded for any reason by the paying parent. However, economic hardship may interfere with a parent’s ability to pay. The court should be informed and, if the financial issues are verified, payments may be reduced or suspended until the parent is once again able to pay.

On the other hand, if the parent refuses to pay, there are remedies available. The Child Support Enforcement Act requests that a formal payment plan be established by the delinquent payer. If a settlement is not reached, the parent may be jailed. If the parent has left the state, a uniform program enables the district attorney in one state to alert authorities in another that the parent is in contempt of a court order, and the delinquent individual may be charged with a felony and jailed.

Incarceration may further interfere with the child’s support. Other options such as wage garnishment or interception of income tax refunds may be used for support. Other consequences include property confiscation, suspending a business or professional license or driver’s license revocation. If the amount exceeds $2,500, the delinquent parent will be prohibited from obtaining or renewing a passport.

When child support is delinquent, the parent entitled to receive it may benefit from consulting with an attorney who has experience in family law matters. The attorney can assist in alerting the court to the situation.

Source: New Jersey Courts, “What can happen if support payments are not made?“, October 16, 2014