What are my options if my co-parent is not paying child support?
Unpaid Child Support
Any time two parents divorce, or raise a child in separate homes outside of marriage, there is a good chance that one parent or the other will be expected to pay some form of child support. However, while New Jersey family courts may rule that child support should be paid, that doesn’t necessarily mean that those obligations will be met by the supporting parent.
When a parent is not meeting agreed-upon child support obligations, there may be a good reason such as a loss of employment, and a child support modification may be in order. In other situations, when circumstances have not changed, it may be necessary to enforce the payment of child support through some kind of court order.
Whatever the case may be, if child support is not being paid in your case, or cannot be paid due to some change in circumstance, it is important to work with an experienced Morris County child support attorney in order to ensure that you and your child’s financial rights and future are protected. At Jacobs Berger, our attorneys understand that no two families are exactly the same. When working with our clients to resolve a child support dispute, we will exhaust every possible legal option in order to make sure you get the support you need. Similarly, for parents who are unable to make child support payments, we will seek a tenable child support modification to suit your new financial reality. Our firm has extensive experience serving parents within child support disputes in Morris County towns and all of Northern New Jersey.
Call our Morristown office today at (973) 447-3943 to speak with a member of our legal team in a confidential and comprehensive case assessment.
Child Support Probation Division
For many parents, child support is paid and received through the Probation Division of the New Jersey Department of Human Services. The Probation Division monitors all child support payments made, and will automatically bring your matter to the courts when child support obligations are not met (usually after two weeks of unmet child support payments).
The Probation Division’s enforcement page includes a number of potential different actions that can be taken when child support is past-due and provides detailed information about each different option. However, here is a list of actions which may be taken when child support which is paid/received through the Probation Division is unpaid:
- Wage garnishment
- Reporting to Credit Agencies
- Lottery, inheritance, prize, and other financial gains intercepts
- Tax return intercept
- Seizure of Assets
- Suspension of driver’s license, recreational license, or professional license
- Denial of passport renewal
- Issuing a warrant for the arrest
- Court Orders and Judgements
- New hires directory (monitoring of all new hires in the state of New Jersey in order to locate, and potentially garnish the wages of, a delinquent parent)
Child Support Modification Lawyers
In situations where the circumstances have changed for one parent or the other, or possibly even the child themselves, a child support modification may be necessary.
For example, if the parent making the child support payments lost their job, they may no longer be able to meet their current child support obligations. However, even if a parents’ child support obligations are reduced via a child support modification, those reductions in payment will only take effect after the modification is awarded – meaning they will still owe any arrears on payments not made while they were pursuing the modification itself.
If you are seeking a child support modification, or are facing a petition for the modification of child support, it is important to retain the counsel of an experienced Morris Township child support modification lawyer. It will be necessary to prove (or disprove) that circumstances have changed, and exactly how those changed circumstances will affect the existing child support agreement. An experienced attorney can help you to file and respond to all of the necessary legal paperwork, present your case to the family court, and ensure that your financial needs and future are accurately accounted for and protected moving forward.
Child Support Enforcement Attorneys
Finally, in situations where child support is paid directly between the two parents, and no child support modification is in order, if child support payments are not being made then it may be necessary to file a motion to enforce those same child support payments.
While we usually urge our clients to first attempt to resolve the issue by speaking with their co-parent, and later through pre-trial negotiations if necessary, these tactics do not always work, and actual court intervention may become the last resort.
A solution for everyone
When filing for the enforcement of child support, courts are given all of the authorities and powers as described in the first section of this page, including wage garnishment, asset seizure, and more. In addition, courts will often order that interest be paid on late payments, and may even order that attorney’s fees be paid by the parent not making child support payments.
The bottom line is that if child support obligations are not being met, you do have a variety of options at your disposal, and can rest assured that the NJ family court system takes the welfare of children extremely seriously, and will act as such.
Contact Our Child Support Lawyers Today
At Jacobs Berger, our attorneys have extensive experience helping families to create, modify, and enforce child support agreements in towns across New Jersey and Morris County.
We approach each divorce and family law case as a new opportunity to assist clients in building a solid foundation for their family’s future. To that end, we take pride in offering personalized and dynamic legal solutions to fit the unique needs and concerns of each client.