My child’s father or mother is not keeping up with their child support payments. How can I enforce the child support order in New Jersey?
Delinquent child support payments are considered a debt called “arrears.” Because child support is ordered pursuant to an Order of the Court, the parent receiving child support has the right to enforce the order with the help of the Courts, the Probation Department, and, often times, an attorney. There are a variety of ways to enforce child support.
In New Jersey, child support can be required to be paid through incoming withholding. If the parent paying child support is employed, a notice may be sent to their employer to withhold their child support payments, including arrears, from their paycheck. Similarly, if the parent paying child support is entitled to a tax refund, the refund may instead go towards any delinquent child support payments. Further, if the parent paying child support receives a legal settlement or is awarded money by a Court from a lawsuit, some of that money may be used to pay arrears. In the unlikely event that the parent paying child support wins the lottery, arrears may even be deducted from their winnings.
Some non-monetary ways to collect arrears include Court enforcement, license suspension, passport denial, and negative reporting to the credit bureaus to affect the payor’s credit rating. An attorney may request a hearing to enforce the child support Order, which could result in a warrant for the non-payor’s arrest or an Order for immediate payment of arrears. If payments are months behind and/or an arrest warrant is issued for failure to pay child support, the non-custodial parent’s driver’s license may be revoked. In the same vein, if arrears amount to $2,500.00 or more, passport applications and renewals may be denied.
These are just some of the possible ways to collect arrears. If you need help enforcing a child support order in New Jersey, please contact an experienced family law attorney at Cohn Lifland.