Heymann & Fletcher

New Jersey sheriffs cooperate on unpaid child support warrants

Most New Jersey parents are willing to financially support their children, even when they are divorced or no longer living with the custodial parent. However, for whatever reason, some non-custodial parents actively avoid meeting their obligations regarding their children. Numerous legal remedies are available to enforce child support orders, including arresting parents who are willfully not making their payments as ordered.

The sheriff's departments in all 21 New Jersey counties work together in order to execute arrest warrants issued for non-payment of child support, regardless of amount. For instance, a man was recently apprehended for not making $172,744 worth of child support payments. The 38-year-old man was taken into custody in one county and held there until he could be transported to the county that issued the original warrant.

Arrest warrants may be issued even if the non-custodial parent is not actively avoiding payment, however. Some parents experience financial hardships that make it difficult or impossible to comply with a child support order. Nevertheless, that does not release them from their obligations. In this situation, the parents are better off requesting a modification of an order instead of simply avoiding it. If the court determines that there is sufficient reason to do so, a modification may be entered.

Raising children in today's economy is expensive, and custodial parents should not have to bear the financial burden alone. If a non-custodial parent is not paying as ordered, child support enforcement efforts are available, many of which are not as harsh as incarceration but are still designed to recover accumulated arrears. Whether a parent is not receiving payments, or is unable to make payments, enlisting the assistance of someone familiar with family law and the court system could be beneficial.

Source: nj.com, "Man wanted for $172K in unpaid child support arrested in Lebanon, Sheriff reports", April 2, 2015

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