The majority of parents want to do right by their children. While there are cases where a noncustodial parent may be unable, or simply refuses, to make child support payments, it is rarely the case that they will be required to make no payments at all. As some New Jersey residents may already know, August is Child Support Awareness Month.

A neighboring state announced the results of collections of outstanding child support payments for the last fiscal year, totalling almost $71 million. The Child Support Enforcement Unit partnered with the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) to issue tax warrants to more than 132,000 individuals, in an effort to reclaim overdue payments. In a few instances, the Tax Department received individual payments that were in the many thousands of dollars, even one as high as $236,000. In lieu of cash, some items that were seized included yachts and luxury cars.

In the first instance, letters are sent to noncustodial parents advising them of how much is owed in child support, giving them the chance to get in contact to make arrangements to pay. If these letters are ignored, the next stage might involve using tax refunds to offset against payments owed, or putting a levy on bank accounts. Seizure of assets will usually only occur if all other efforts have failed.

New Jersey residents who find themselves in receipt of demands for child support payments will find that the best way forward is not to ignore them. There may be genuine reasons why the amounts specified may not be affordable, in which case one can appeal the decision and request a reassessment. Likewise, parents in receipt of child support payments who find it difficult to care for their children on the amount specified are also able to make their case for an increase in the amounts paid. Keeping the best interest of the children at the front of all discussions is key.

Source: silive.com, “NYS collects $70.8 million in overdue child support“, Tracey Porpora, Aug. 06, 2017