Financial support of a child is the responsibility of both parents, whether
married or divorced. If the parents are divorced, however, the judge will
most likely enter an order regarding the amount of child support due and
from which parent. When a judge enters an order, it is expected to be
followed. Unfortunately that is not always the case. When child support
orders are ignored, the other party may need to seek enforcement. Enforcing
child support orders can help you ensure your kids’ needs are met
and help you provide for them. For this reason, it is imperative to contact
an experienced family law attorney when your child support orders are
not being honored.
The duty to provide support does not terminate if a parent’s circumstances
change. Whether they move out of state or have a change in employment,
the parent is still required to continue to pay child support. The amount
might change, but only if a request for a modification is made. Therefore,
if your ex is not living up to the terms of a court order for child support
you can and should seek enforcement.
The first step in enforcing your child support order is to contact the
Office of Child Support Services (OCSS). The OCSS is a part of the New
Jersey Department of Human Services and is responsible for enforcing child
support orders. They can use administrative process to:
- Locate absent parents
- Establish paternity
- Arrange child and medical support obligations
- Collect, process, and distribute child support payments
- Work cooperatively with other states to ensure parents pay their support orders
- Enforce medical and child support obligations
When parents aren’t meeting their support obligations, the OCSS and
use collection and enforcement measures to ensure that payments are made
Some of these measures include:
- Withholding income from wages, salaries, and bonuses.
- Reporting non-payment to credit bureaus.
- Applying state and federal income tax returns or lottery winnings to the
overdue payment amount.
- Suspending driver’s licenses, recreational licenses, or professional
or occupational licenses.
- Referring the case to the federal government, so the parent’s passport
or passport application can be denied, suspended, or revoked.
- Tracing income by requiring that parents report job changes within 20 days
of the change.
- Preventing the sale or transfer of property until the full support amount is paid.
- Seizing bank accounts, stocks, or bonds for payment.
- Taking the parent to court for a hearing. If they cannot defend their reason
for falling behind, they may be jailed.
- Requesting the court issue a warrant for the parent’s arrest.
If the OCSS is backlogged or isn’t providing the support you need,
you may find that it’s easier to request the court to issue new
orders to collect overdue child support. To make your ex resume payment,
you may have to file a motion in your case. This motion is known as a
motion for contempt, since failing to comply with court orders is considered
contempt of court. A skilled family law lawyer can help you file the motion,
gather evidence of the lack of payments, and attend the hearing to argue
your case. Your attorney will be required to present the facts of the
case, and show how your ex has failed to make child support payments.
Often the threat of legal action, garnishments, or jail time may be enough
to cause your ex to resume payments. You are entitled to the child support
that is ordered by the court, and if you are having trouble getting your
ex to pay, you should know what actions you can take. Our New Jersey family
law attorneys can help you understand your options, and can help you recover
the child support you are owed.
Don’t wait to get help. Contact Moskowitz Law Group, LLC today by
calling (201) 419-6223.