In a NJ divorce, both parents have an obligation to financially support the child(ren) of the marriage. Child support can be calculated utilizing the NJ Child Support Guidelines or the parties can agree to deviate from the Guidelines. Child support is typically paid to the parent exercising primary residential custody by the other parent. Once a child support order has been entered it is critical that the payor spouse do everything possible to satisfy the obligation. The parent of primary residence needs the support to help defray the expenses of the children. However, situatuons develop that make it difficult, if not impossible, the meet a child support obligation whether it be due to illness, job loss, or other factors which impact the ability to pay.
If you find yourself unable to pay your child support obligation, what should you do? Well, you should seek relied from the Court as soon as possible. Meet with an experienced attorney quickly to review your case and determine if a motion to modify/reduce child support is appropriate. You should not simply stop paying. You should not rely on your former spouse’s “agreement” to take less or defer receipt of your payments until a later date. These agreements are not necessarily binding and can lead to additional problems. Failure to pay child support an lead to wage garnishment, seizure of any tax refunds you may be entitled to receive, the revocation of your drivers license (or any other state issued license), and potentially, incarceration.
There is no doubt that the current economy has made paying child support difficult. If you feel you need relief, take the proper steps and do not engage in self-help. The attorneys of The Durst Firm have the experience to assist you in your child support matters.