Any parent can tell you that children absorb a lot of resources, including financial resources. Raising children is expensive, and adding up food, lodging, clothing, daycare expenses, medical care, and the myriad of other costs associated with bringing up a child can reach into thousands of dollars a month. New Jersey law recognizes that both parents have the obligation to provide financial support for their children. To that end, in most cases where the parties share children, the court will enter an order for child support. There are some unfortunate times, however, when the paying parent falls behind in the payments. When this happens, the past due payments are called child support “arrearages.”
When the paying parent falls behind in payments, the receiving parent (or in some cases the State of New Jersey) can bring a case against the paying parent to establish an order for arrearages and also find the paying parent in contempt. The court can then review how behind the paying parent is and establish an order for arrearages. Having an order establishing the exact amount of arrearages provides opportunities to collect on these arrearages. For example, the paying parent’s tax return can be garnished until the arrearages are paid in full, his or her passport can be suspended, and bank accounts can be seized. Moreover, the support order can be modified to state that the paying parent has to pay a monthly amount toward the arrearages in addition to the amount he or she must pay for regular support.
It is also possible for the court to find the paying parent in contempt. “Contempt” means that the parent is willfully disobeying a court’s order. The word “willful” in this context is very important. For example, if the paying parent suffers a medical emergency and is in the hospital for several months, the court is not likely to find that parent in contempt for failing to make timely parents. On the other hand, if a parent is gainfully employed, is up to date on all his or her other bills, and is still making no effort to pay support, that parent may ver well be found in contempt. The penalties for contempt vary, but can range from monetary penalties all the way up to jail time in extreme cases.
We have extensive experience helping our clients with issues regarding child support. Call us today to talk about your child and your order.
Are you interested in seeking an annulment? If so, contact Williams Law Group, LLC right away. Our family law attorneys will review your case to determine if an annulment is an option. If it is, we will guide you through the process and ensure you make the best decisions for your future. Call our office at (908) 738-8512, email us firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation
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