Answer: Overdue Support Obligations Can Result in Severe Consequences Including Incarceration
It's a familiar story with which experienced family attorneys are well-acquainted: a New Jersey spouse paying spousal support or “alimony” on the basis of an income level that he or she no longer earns. Here are the basic details of one specific litigant's story from Fox 29/My9: My9 New Jersey
Jail time is not automatic. It is critical to remember that every individual case is different and highly factually-specific, but it is true that New Jersey support payors can face severe consequences for non-payment over time including possible incarceration.
In New Jersey, warrants may be issued for overdue child support when the non-custodial parent fails to appear for a noticed court date or, alternatively, fails to comply with court support orders. An arrest could result in jail time, either for a fixed period or until the incarcerated child support debtor comes up with a requisite amount to pay towards arrears that is set by a judge.
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As you can see, it's an understatement to say that this topic has a lot of ins and outs! And the consequences of failing to manage a support obligation over time can prove severe.
Don't wait until your child support obligation results in an arrest. If you are unable to manage your current support obligation due to unemployment or some other significant circumstances affecting your ability to pay, then a motion could be filed on your behalf to reduce your child support or alimony obligation to a more manageable amount and establish an arrears payment so that you can begin to pay down what you already owe. You may also want to consider seeking a different mode of remitting support.
What constitutes a change in circumstance can vary. You can review our earlier post, Alimony Modification in New Jersey, for post divorce discussion on change in circumstance criteria. If you pay alimony under New Jersey law, you may be entitled to a reduction in your alimony obligation. You would need to file a post judgment motion in order to accomplish this goal.
If you or a loved one have questions regarding alimony, the enforcement of alimony orders, or the modification or termination of alimony orders, please contact us online today or call us at (856)546-1350 to schedule a confidential consultation with our experienced New Jersey alimony attorneys.