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Penalties for Not Paying Child Support in New Jersey

Child support is often awarded in divorce cases involving younger children. Financial assistance is incredibly important when it comes to the well-being of a child, so it is taken seriously in the state of New Jersey. As a result, failing to pay child support can have some major consequences. If you have questions regarding your obligations as a parent in New Jersey, read on to learn more about how child support is enforced.

How is Child Support Determined?

Child support is determined by a number of different factors. The court will look into the parent’s salary and the cost of living for the child. But, there are a lot of other aspects to consider, including:

  • The financial status of each parent
  • Who has physical custody of the child
  • Any income, debt, and assets of each parent
  • Each parent’s earning capacity
  • Each parent’s work history
  • The child’s needs
  • The child’s age/health
  • The child’s education

Enforcing Support Payments

When parents do not fulfill their financial obligation ordered by the court, they are considered to be “in arrears.”

When this happens, support payments can be legally enforced. The parent receiving the 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

What Do I Do If My Spouse Isn’t Paying Child Support?

If your ex has been ordered to pay support for your child and is not fulfilling his or her obligations, you should contact a skilled family law attorney. Of course, having the funds to make sure your child’s needs are met is important to any parent. In some cases, there will be a reason that your ex-spouse is not making their obligated payments. In this case, the child support agreement may need to be modified. Some circumstances that would cause a modification include:

  • The cost of living of the supporting parent has increased and they can no longer afford to make payments
  • The supporting parent suffered a serious injury or illness that requires medical assistance and they are left with few funds to take care of their child
  • The income of the supporting parent has either decreased or he or she lost his job

If you have questions about financial obligations for your child, contact our firm today to speak with a dedicated attorney.


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