When parents are facing a divorce, they are required to settle arrangements for the future of their children. Part of doing so includes establishing child support payments. Child support is payments that the non-custodial parent makes to the custodial parent to financially support their child after the divorce is final. When determining an amount, it is done by the court so that there are no complications. Once the amount is established by the court, it is a court order, which is considered the law. This means that it is required to be paid or the court can enforce it.
Enforcing Child Support
When a child’s parents get divorced, child support is necessary for them. Through these payments, children are able to continue to live in a way they were used to before the divorce happened. If a parent does not make these payments, it can impact the child’s upbringing. Parents who do not fulfill their obligation to pay child support are considered to be “in arrears.”
It is important to know that support payments can be legally enforced if they are not being paid. The custodial parent receiving these payments can file either in the county where the child lives or where the non-custodial parent lives. Then, the payments can be enforced by the Probation Child Support Enforcement Unit. The members of this unit monitor support orders and enforce them if they are not paid. There are several ways they can be enforced, including 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 crucial to understand that a parent can face severe consequences if they do not pay child support. In some cases, it may be arrest and incarceration.
Modifying Support Settlements
Sometimes, there are very real reasons as to why a parent cannot make their child support payments. This may be the result of a job loss, serious illness, or more. If a parent falls behind or is unable to fulfill their payments, there are options they can consider. There are cases in which the court will allow for a modification. This means that either the amount that is due or their payment plan can be adjusted so that it better suits their current situation. In order to receive a modification, the parent is required to prove to the court that their life changes are significant and ongoing.
Contact our Firm
If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Paone, Zaleski & Murphy to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.