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New Jersey authorities crack down on child support offenders

Many New Jersey couples go through a divorce and there are children involved. Most of the time parents want what is best for their children and often a child support order is issued to the custodial parent and paid by the non-custodial parent without incident. But, occasionally, non-custodial parents fall behind in their monthly payments which can ultimately wind up hurting the child.

In Mercer County there was a recent crackdown on parents who were behind on child support payments. During a three day sweep in June, Mercer County officials arrested 84 people and collected over $40,000 in past due child support. This event was part of a larger statewide effort that saw over 1,100 warrants served and $300,000 recovered.

Although this was a great effort to collect some of the enormous amount of money owed in back child support in New Jersey, it is really the children who are suffering from negligent parents. Child support is used for basic living expenses for children, including food, housing, medical expenses and clothing. Without a reliable source of support these children can suffer immensely.

If a parent finds themselves in a situation where a child support agreement is not being upheld there are child support enforcement steps that can be taken to recover delinquent payments. The court may garnish wages of the non-custodial parent, or go after tax refunds, lottery winnings and other benefits, which can be withheld. Liens can also be placed against property, passports may not be issued, a driver's license can be suspended or as a last resort the non-custodial parent can face jail time.

A custodial parent who finds themselves in a situation where they are no longer receiving the court-ordered child support due to their children in New Jersey has options available to recoup the back child support owed. It is important to remember that child support is court-ordered to help children with expenses in a divorce or separation. Unpaid child support hurts the child and every effort should be made to collect owed support.

Source: The Times of Trenton, "Mercer County officers arrest 84 in child support crackdown, collect $41,000," Brendan McGrath, July 1, 2013

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