NJ Child support obligations are extremely serious, not just because it goes to give the child food, clothing and shelter, but because the consequences for failing to pay support can have serious impact on the payor’s life.
MECHANISMS TO ENFORCE PAYMENT AND PENALTIES FOR NON-PAYMENT
- The court can give you a judgment on arrears calculated by the court. Filing this judgment places a lien on any real property of the payor and shows up on credit reports. If the real property is sold, your lien must be paid in full.
- Garnish payor’s paycheck, meaning that the child support is automatically taken out of the paycheck for you.
- If the payor does not appear at a court hearing for enforcement of NJ child support, a bench warrant can be issued and the payor can be put in jail. This incarceration can be done on work release, or without work release. This could also result in the payor’s driver’s license being suspended. Incarceration does not eliminate the child support that is due or becomes due.
- When an arrearage in child support is over $2,500, the payor can be denied issuance or renewal of a passport.
- The court can execute against the payor’s assets based on a judgment for arrears. This includes include bank accounts and other assets.
- If more than $100 is owed in arrears, this can be reported to credit bureaus and will impact the payor’s credit worthiness.
- Tax refunds and homestead rebates can be taken to apply toward arrears in excess of $500, though in public assistance cases the amount is $150.
- If the payor has failed to pay child support for six months or more, they can have their driver’s license, professional license and recreational licenses suspended.
- Lottery winnings of $600 or more can be seized if the payor owes $1,000 or more in child support arrears.
- Levies can be placed against workers’ compensation and insurance claims of the payor.
- Project Save Our Children: A federal program that assesses misdemeanor or felony charges for non-payment of child support under the following circumstances:
- Refusing to pay child support for a year or more
- Traveling to another state to avoid payment of child support obligations
- Owing $5,000 or more in child support
HOW TO IMPLEMENT NJ CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT MECHANISMS
The New Jersey Probation Department has a mandate to collect child support. At a nominal fee, someone to whom support is owed can make use of the Probation Department to enforce child support orders. This can also act to benefit the paying party because the Probation Department keeps detailed records of payment, so proof of payment is easily available. This also means that a record of non-payment is just as easily available.
When an enforcement hearing is scheduled for child support or failure to provide health insurance, either party can be represented by an attorney. The hearing will be before either a Hearing Officer or a Judge. The Hearing Officer will make a recommendation which is ultimately approved by a Judge, unless either party objects to the recommendations of the Hearing Officer. If objections are made, then there will be a hearing before a Judge who will make the final decision on the matter. Either party can be represented in filing objections and in the hearing before the Judge.
If you need to discuss NJ child support enforcement, please call the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen for a free initial consultation at 201-845-7400.