How is child support enforced in New Jersey?

If you and your child’s other parent are raising your child apart, a New Jersey family law court may have granted you a child support award. Should your child’s other parent fail to make his or her payments, it may make it place an unnecessary burden on you, and affect your ability to care and provide for your child. However, the state has a number of options available for enforcing such orders.

When a parent neglects to make his or her child support payments, it could result in serious legal issues. For instance, falling behind may result in an enforcement hearing being scheduled by the state’s Probation Child Support Enforcement Unit. As formal court hearing, you and your child’s other parent may be called upon to provide sworn testimony before a hearing officer or a judge.

In some cases, the court may issue a bench warrant for parents who do not make their child support payments. This may result in a parent being arrested, and held until he or she catches up on what they owe or reach some other resolution. Additionally, the state’s Supreme Court may record judgments against parents who fail to make their payments. This type of claim could prevent them from selling or transferring certain property, and might appear on their credit reports.

License suspensions are another option that the state may use for enforcing child support orders. The New Jersey Courts point out that parents may have their driver’s, professional or recreational licenses suspended for failing to pay child support for at least six months. The state may also suspend parents’ licenses if a bench warrant is issued for them as a result of child support nonpayment. Further, parents may be denied a U.S. passport if they owe $2,500 or more in past due child support.

Parents who are behind on their child support may also have certain funds or assets intercepted. According to the New Jersey Courts, the state may seize the lottery winnings of at least $600 from parents who owe $1,000 or more in back child support. Under certain circumstances, a federal program permits the state to freeze or seize the assets in accounts belonging to parents who are in arrears on their child support payments.

This post has provided an overview of child support enforcement. It should, however, be taken only as general information and not as legal advice.