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New Jersey child support amnesty for parents in arrears

Beginning April 28, individuals in New Jersey who are behind on child support payments may be able to take advantage of a weeklong amnesty being offered by the state. To qualify, parents must have a warrant out for their arrest because child support is in arrears. Even if adequate arrangements cannot be made during amnesty week, indebted parents have no fear of being arrested while trying to make such arrangements.

The state has offered child support amnesty before, but cautions that this is not a regular event. The prior amnesty took place in 2004. Parents must still make every effort to stay current on child support payments or acquire a modification to their child support agreement.

Though the economic downturn has hit many people hard, the percentage of non-custodial parents who are behind on child support payments has remained steady at around 58 percent. In New Jersey, the number of children dependent upon child support payments is more than 400,000.

Hard economic times can befall anyone, so it is understandable when circumstances change and a support-paying parent needs temporary assistance by way of a child support modification. A family law attorney can help parents modify a child support agreement if they owe child support due to a change in finances or other circumstances.

Those parents who attempt to make arrangements during this amnesty period may still find that they are unable to come to a satisfactory resolution with officials. These parents may need additional assistance in remedying the situation outside of the amnesty event in order to avoid arrest and to help get back on track with support payments. If you are currently going through a divorce, a New Jersey divorce attorney may be able to help you make child support arrangements with your spouse. 

Source:, "NJ offering child-support amnesty," Colleen Diskin, April 18, 2014

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