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What Do You Do If Your Ex-Spouse Is Not Paying Child Support?

Parents who do not comply with court-ordered child support may face legal consequences. Failure to pay or paying late can result in wage garnishment, driver’s license suspension, and even jail time. If your ex-spouse is not paying child support, there are several enforcement options available to you in New Jersey.

Child Support Enforcement in New Jersey

Courts take child support seriously. Under both federal and state law, parents have a legal obligation to cover their children’s basic needs. When a noncustodial parent fails to uphold this parental duty, the custodial parent can institute an enforcement action with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Child Support Services (OCSS).

Filing a Complaint with the OCSS

When a payor is in arrears, the OCSS can take steps to enforce the court order and get those payments made. To enlist the assistance of the OCSS, the receiving parent must fill out an application, which asks for any information regarding the non-paying parent that would be helpful to the OCSS’s investigation.

Once the OCSS has approved the application, both parents will be notified of a scheduled court hearing. If the non-paying parent fails to appear, a bench warrant may be issued.

New Jersey maintains a child support computer system that stores information about child support cases, including a record of all child support payments made or owed. If an obligor fails to pay, action may be immediately taken to enforce the child support order.

OCSS Enforcement Tools

The OCSS has various enforcement tools at its disposal to make sure that owed child support gets paid, including:

  • Income withholding
  • Credit bureau notification
  • Tax offset
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Passport denial
  • Lottery intercept

What If Your Ex-Spouse Is Unemployed?

Even if your ex-spouse is unemployed, he or she must still make child support payments. In New Jersey, unemployment payments can be used or withheld to make child support payments, just like regular wages. A payor may request modification of their child support order to have their payments reduced based on their employment situation. However, they may not do so during the enforcement hearing; a separate motion with the court must be filed.

In New Jersey, employers must report all new hires to the state within 20 days. The state keeps track of this information in the New Hires Directory, and it is used to locate non-paying parents in order to enforce child support orders.

What About If Your Ex-Spouse Moved Out of State?

New Jersey will continue to have jurisdiction over the case as long as one spouse lives in the state. If your ex-spouse moves out of state, the court in that state must still enforce the child support order. Under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, failure to pay child support is a federal offense. Therefore, even though your ex-spouse moved out of state, they may still have their wages garnished or be subject to other forms of enforcement.

Burlington County Child Support Lawyers at Burnham Douglass Help Parents Collect Past-Due Child Support Payments

If your ex-spouse is not paying child support, contact one of our Burlington County child support lawyers at Burnham Douglass as soon as possible. We will fight to get your court order enforced and obtain the child support payments you are owed. To schedule a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 856-751-5505. From our offices in Marlton and Northfield, we represent clients throughout South Jersey, including those located in Camden County, Burlington County, and Atlantic County.

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