Getting Child Support from an Ex in New Jersey
There are a myriad of opportunities for conflict during a divorce. Regardless of how well a separating couple gets along, divorce is a stressful emotional time, and the process of the proceedings itself often damages a divorcing couple’s already fragile relationship.
One example in which collaboration during divorce proceedings tends to break down is when there are children involved because the stakes are higher and the children’s best interests must be taken into account while the adults are still trying to have their own best interests met.
When you and a spouse become parents, there is an expectation, if not a spoken agreement, that you will each carry your fair share of the weight in taking care of that child in all ways: emotionally, financially, physically. This agreement does not change in a divorce; only the method through which those supports are provided changes.
How is support for a child handled in a divorce?
In divorce, custody arrangements and child support payments are the manners in which these duties to support the child are carried out. The New Jersey Superior Court: Family Part is the judicial system that oversees family law matters, including divorce, child custody agreements, and child support orders. The central duty of the Superior Court: Family Part is to ensure that any involved child’s best interests are held as the paramount consideration in all decision making. While the child is a dependent, the Court will see to it that their needs on all levels are met and that they are able to spend as much time with each parent as is safe and possible.
What if my ex-spouse refuses to pay court-ordered child support payments?
Theoretically, child support is paid by the person ordered to pay it in order that the child benefits from the financial input of a two-parent household even though they are in the custodial care of only one birth parent. There are cases, however, in which a parent refuses to pay child support. Reasons could vary from their being angry with their ex-spouse and taking it out on the innocent child, their not feeling that they are responsible for providing this financial support, or their withholding the funding in order to use that financial absence as leverage against the custodial parent in order to get something in return. Whatever the reason is that a parent is refusing to pay child support, if they have been ordered by the Superior Court: Family Part to provide child support payments, they are legally obligated and can be penalized for delinquent payments. Read on to learn more about how to get child support paid.
If your ex-spouse refuses to pay child support payments, there is a legal system for collecting that support. Your family law attorney can help you navigate this collections process, which begins with a petition to the NJ Superior Court: Family Part to enforce their court orders. There are steep consequences for a parent who is found to be in contempt of court for not paying child support payments. Amounts due could come from a number of places, including the confiscation of assets, garnishment of wages from the employer’s paycheck, or workers’ compensation or unemployment benefits being redirected to the spouse to whom child support is due. As far as assets are concerned, a New Jersey Clerk of Court can withhold the person’s right to transfer property until they make their overdue child support payments.
In addition to having wages, assets, lottery winnings, and government benefits withheld due to delinquent child support payment, there are other potential consequences. The Court may issue an arrest warrant if the parent refuses to pay child support payments or does not show up at a scheduled hearing. In the case that an arrest warrant is issued, the person’s driver’s license will be suspended. There is also the possibility that the person’s license will be suspended in the absence of an arrest warrant if the person has failed to pay six months of child support. If the delinquent parent applies for a passport, it will be denied if they are behind by at least $2,500 in payment; and even their credit could be affected if they owe more than $1,000. Time behind bars is not a common consequence for failure to pay child support, but there are situations in which such a legal ramification is taken into consideration by the Court.
To ensure that your quest to obtain your overdue child support payments is successful, it is important to seek the help of an experienced family law attorney.
Contact our Child Support Attorney for a consultation
If your ex-spouse is behind on child support payments or refuses to pay, we are on your side.
At Edward S. Cooper Law Office, we successfully represent clients in Westfield, Elizabeth, Union, Cranford, Mountainside, Linden, and the greater Union County area.
To discuss your individual case with the knowledgeable family law attorney at our Union County offices call 908-481-4625.