Even if spouses decide to end their marriage, they continue to have an obligation to provide financial support to their children. The court gives utmost importance to the child’s best interest, ensuring that the child receives adequate support for their sustenance and development. So, if the court finds that the payor parent fails to fulfill their obligation, it is likely to implement an enforcement remedy.
New Jersey implements the Child Support Program which promotes parental responsibility and enforces child support payment. If the parent ordered by the court to pay support fails to do so or if the payment is delayed or incomplete, the court may use any of the following measures to enforce the support order:
- Income withholding
- Seizure of property, including cash and equivalent assets
- Driving license suspension
- Passport issuance or renewal denial
- Taking proceeds from civil awards, settlements or lottery winnings
- Credit reporting
- Tax refund offset
- Criminal sanctions
These are just some courses of action the court may take to compel the payor parent to fulfill their obligation.
How about inevitable reasons for failure to pay support?
Understandably, not all paying parents purposefully ignore their child support obligation. Some may be facing problems such as job loss or a reduction in income. If there is any significant change of circumstance in the parent’s life, they could request a modification of support to reduce the amount they have to provide so they can still support their child.
While it is ideal for parents to provide for their children automatically, some circumstances would force the court to take action. Family courts always consider the child’s best interest when making decisions and if the enforcement of any of the remedies mentioned will benefit the child, the courts are likely to push through with them.