green bg
empty wallet

What if I Can’t Afford to Pay Child Support in New Jersey?

Child support is often a contested issue during divorce proceedings. However, parents are obligated to financially support their children until the age of emancipation in New Jersey. This obligation can extend beyond that and, in some cases, well into college. Child support is intended to preserve a child’s best interests. If you can’t afford to pay child support, it’s in your best interest to enlist the help of a dedicated Ocean County Child Support Attorney who can help you avoid harsh penalties. 

What is Child Support?

When a couple with children split, the court typically requires the parent without primary custody (the non-custodial parent) to make monthly payments to the other parent (the custodial parent). These payments are intended to help meet the child’s basic needs. Child support covers a significant portion of expenses associated with having a child. If you’re undergoing a divorce, child support will be determined by a judge during divorce proceedings. When the divorce is finalized, the judge will issue a divorce decree outlining the requirements for child support. Once child support is ordered, it must be paid. Failure to pay on time and in full will result in various legal consequences.

What Happens When a Parent Doesn’t Pay?

Child support is essential in New Jersey as it ensures that children receive the financial support they need for their growth and development; failure to pay child support can have serious consequences. New Jersey enforces strict laws to protect children’s rights and ensure they receive the support they deserve. Therefore, if a parent fails to uphold their child support obligation, they can face the following penalties:

  • Wage garnishment
  • Interception of tax refunds
  • Seizure of assets
  • Liens and judgments
  • Contempt of court charges
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Suspension of professional licenses

What Can I Do If I Can’t Afford My Child Support in New Jersey?

If you’re struggling to make child support payments, it’s crucial to seek legal assistance as soon as possible to prevent harsh penalties. If you can’t afford child support, you can file a petition to modify your existing court order. However, you will have to demonstrate that you’ve had a substantial change in your financial circumstances. This may include a loss of employment or a significant decrease in income. The court will consider various factors to determine whether your change in financial circumstances warrants a modification to your existing child support order.

Nevertheless, it’s crucial to note that even if the court grants your request to modify your child support order, that doesn’t mean you won’t be liable for any past missing support payments. Your child support arrears will not be forgiven, as a modification will only affect your future child support obligation. Therefore, if you can’t afford child support, taking immediate action is essential to prevent severe legal ramifications.

If you can’t afford child support in New Jersey, please don’t hesitate to contact a trusted attorney from the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC, who can help protect your rights and interests.