Every child needs and deserves the support of both parents. That support should be both emotional and financial. Financial child support from the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent then becomes part of every divorce or paternity action. The state mandates it to ensure that the child receives what is needed for food, clothing, shelter, and to maintain an acceptable standard of living. In some cases, a parent who owes child support will fail to pay it. This has given rise to the term “deadbeat parent.”
If you are a custodial parent who is not receiving the child support payment ordered by the court, you have options. Unfortunately, this scenario is more common than thought. It can occur through various reasons, from willful refusal to pay to legitimate reasons such as financial difficulty or a child support payment set too high for the resources of the paying parent.
Child Support Payment Enforcement in New Jersey
As the custodial parent, if you are not getting the support payment you are owed you can request help from the Office of Child Support Services (OCSS). Under the New Jersey Department of Human Services, a Child Support Program has been established to ensure that children of divorced or unmarried parents receive the financial assistance to which they are entitled. Many custodial parents receive their child support payments through this Office. Even if you do not, you can still reach out to them for help. Once your payments become overdue by two weeks or more, the OCSS can begin enforcement procedures.
Enforcement tools that can be used by the OCSS include:
- Wage garnishment, called income withholding done through the non-paying parent’s employer
- Reports of delinquency to credit bureaus
- Seizure of tax refunds for support arrears
- Seizure of assets, such as stock portfolios to be used for support arrears
- Suspension of driver’s or professional licenses
- Denial of passports
- Use of any monies from court awards or settlements to be used for support arrears
- Court orders for criminal arrest, for part or full payment of arrears, or for amounts to be paid in addition to the current monthly amount to make up arrears
- Warrants issued when a non-paying parent fails to appear in court or fails to comply with a court order
- Judgments against property resulting in a necessity for them to be paid off when the property is sold
You can also turn to our office for legal help in getting the support your child needs. Our firm can file a motion with the family court to get the court to take action on your behalf. This is often a faster route to getting needed support. Once the court becomes involved, it can invoke various remedies for getting support such as those mentioned above. It is important to remember that the goal is to get the support you need; punishment is not the answer. Forms of enforcement that can put the non-paying parent in jail, for example, will defeat the purpose.
De Tommaso Law Group Is Here for You & Your Children
Our firm understands the stress and difficulty of failing to receive the monetary support you need. In any child support matter, we are here to help you in every way we can. As a dedicated family law firm, we have a thorough understanding of New Jersey law and procedure in regard to child support. When you need results, we urge you to take advantage of our 125 years of combined family law experience.
Contact us at (908) 274-3028 or via our online request form today.