Unpaid Child Support: What Can Be Done?
The NJ Child Support Guidelines were created in an effort to standardize what parents should expect to pay or receive in terms of financial support for their children after a divorce depending on their family’s circumstances. However, there are several common situations which lead to these child support obligations not being met, in some cases legitimately so and in others not.
For example, some child support agreements are mishandled during the divorce process itself, leaving one parent unable to realistically meet what their child support agreement is requiring of them. Or, sometimes one party’s circumstances will change after the child support agreement has been reached, necessitating a modification to the existing child support agreement. And finally, some parents are simply delinquent in their payments or irresponsible with their finances, and these actions can lead to various child support enforcement motions and potential consequences.
Changed Circumstances and Child Support Modification Lawyers Paramus, NJ
Many times, one parent is not meeting their child support obligations due to a change in their financial circumstances. Things like losing a job or suffering from a serious illness or injury can place a great financial strain on any parent, and can easily result in their not being able to pay the child support they are expected to pay.
However, parents who have experienced a change in circumstance which is “substantial and unanticipated” have the ability to file for a child support modification. With the help of an experienced Paramus child support modification lawyer, parents can demonstrate to the courts how certain changes in to their lives have made their existing child support agreement impossible to follow, and that the existing child support agreement should be modified to more accurately reflect their current circumstances.
Importantly, if your circumstances have changed in such a way which affects your ability to meet child support obligations, it is important the you speak with an attorney as quickly as possible due to the fact that even if your changed circumstances make it impossible for you to meet child support obligations, if you don’t file for a modification the courts will have no way of knowing about your situation, and you will owe in arrears any child support which you couldn’t pay before your modification request.
Enforcing the Payment of Child Support in Bergen County
On the other hand, when there are no legitimate changes in circumstance which would warrant a child support modification, the party who is supposed to be receiving the child support payments may take legal action, and in certain situations the court system itself may automatically take action in order to ensure that child support obligations are being met.
For example, the dependent party can request, through a child support enforcement motion, that the party making child support payments:
- has their wages garnished
- has their diver’s license or other professional license suspended
- has a warrant issued for their arrest
- takes part in some form of community service
- has their tax refunds intercepted
- has their passport application and renewal privileges suspended
- is reported to credit agencies
These same actions may also be taken automatically by the court system in situations where child support is being paid through the Probation Department, rather than directly between the two parties. Of course, if you are in need of enforcing your child support agreement, or are facing a child support enforcement motion, it is important to work with experienced legal counsel in order to ensure that your rights, interests, and financial needs are properly represented to, and taken into account by, the courts.
Contact Our Hackensack Child Support Attorneys Today
At The Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping parents with all manner of child support issues in towns across New Jersey and Bergen County, including Hackensack, Ridgewood, Paramus, Teaneck, and Fort Lee.
Whether you are going through a divorce and need to ensure the accuracy and fairness of your child support agreement, or are in need of representation during any kind of child support modificaiton or child support enforcement matter, our firm is ready to provide you with the attentive, knowledgeable, and highly effective legal service that you need and deserve in such critical matters.
To speak with our legal team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your unique needs and concerns when it comes to any kind of child support related matter, or any other divorce or family law matter, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.