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Enforcing Child Support Settlements in New Jersey

Parents who go through a divorce must determine arrangements for their children’s future. This includes settling child support payments. Child support is payments that are made from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent in order to continue financially supporting their child after the divorce. The amount that is paid in child support is determined by the court. When this is established, the settlement is considered the law. Therefore, it must be paid or it can be enforced by the court. 

Enforcing Child Support

Child support is a necessary part of life for divorced parents. This allows a child to continue living the life they were accustomed to before their parents divorced. If a parent fails to make these payments, it can detrimentally impact their child’s life. When a parent does not fulfill this obligation, they are considered to be “in arrears.”

When this happens, support payments can be legally enforced. The parent receiving the support payments for their child can file in the county where the child lives or the county where the parent paying support lives. Once this is done, the payments can be enforced by the probation Child Support Enforcement Unit. Members of this unit monitor and enforce support orders in several different ways. This can include the following:

  • Taking money directly from the defaulting parent’s wages
  • Redirecting a tax refund
  • Credit reporting
  • Seizing their property
  • Suspending their driver’s license
  • Denying them a passport
  • Taking money from a civil award, settlement, or lottery winnings

It is important to know that the consequences of unpaid child support can be severe. Sometimes, it can result in arrest and incarceration.

Modifying Support Settlements

There are cases in which there are legitimate reasons as to why a parent cannot fulfill their support payments. This may be due to a job loss, serious illness, etc. If you fall behind on support payments, it is important to know that there are options. Sometimes, the court will allow for a modification to the settlement. If a parent is granted a modification, it can allow them to adjust either their payment plan or the amount that is due. This ensures that the parent can make their payments in a way that better suits their new life situation. It is important to know that, in order to receive a modification, the parent must prove to the court that the change in their life is significant and ongoing.

Contact our Firm

If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.