Every parent in New Jersey is required to financially support their children, regardless of whether have custody or visitation rights. Any parent who fails to fulfill their support obligations may be subject to significant sanctions, including wage garnishment, tax penalties, and even incarceration for extreme cases.
However, if you are waiting for overdue support payments, letting the court take action at its own pace might mean significant financial burdens for you in the meantime. To ensure you get the monetary support your child needs, consider speaking with an experienced attorney at our firm. Our dedicated Livingston child support enforcement lawyers could work tirelessly to support you in private negotiations, third-party mediation, or a motion in family court.
While the State of New Jersey and Essex County Probation Department technically have total jurisdiction over all child support enforcement actions, there are things that a parent and their legal counsel could do to speed the process. In fact, minor arrearages in child support payments can often be addressed with a demand letter from a lawyer without requiring court involvement at all.
If a demand letter is enough to retrieve the owed child support from a co-parent, a Livingston attorney could negotiate both an immediate lump sum payment to cover necessary expenses and an accelerated payment plan that incorporates past and future support obligations. However, in situations where this method is not feasible, a parent waiting on payment may need to file an enforcement action with the court.
The primary method of enforcing child support obligations in New Jersey is through wage garnishment, which either the Probation Department or a parent and their attorney could seek as a sanction. Generally, divorce decrees and child support orders explicitly allow for overdue child support payments to be taken directly from the payor’s work income. As such, enforcing wage garnishment is often as simple as getting in touch with the right payroll company and informing them of the situation.
If someone owes a significant amount of child support, state law allows for additional enforcement actions to make up for debts owed and ensure future payments. For example, child support can also be taken out of unemployment or workers’ comp benefits, lottery winnings, civil judgements, and tax refunds in addition to the work wages of the non-paying parent.
Depending on the circumstances, they may also be subject to asset seizure, revocation of their passport and/or driver’s license, and credit reporting. In the most extreme scenarios, a child support enforcement lawyer could help seek a court order or warrant in Livingston that could result in imprisonment or other criminal penalties.
In most cases, the State of New Jersey will take action to correct child support arrearages without the need for additional intervention. However, if are missing a significant amount of support from a co-parent, taking matters into your own hands may be the best course of action.
Whether you want to address this kind of issue privately or through a court proceeding, a Livingston child support enforcement lawyer is available to help. Call our firm today to schedule your initial consultation.