Can a Parent Lose Custody by Not Paying Child Support in New Jersey?

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As the non-custodial parent, you likely pay child support to your child’s other parent each month. Unfortunately, financial struggles can occur, and there may be instances in which you cannot make your payment. If this happens, the custodial parent may try to threaten or scare you by claiming you will lose custody rights, which can be an anxiety-inducing threat. If you’re unsure whether or not this is true, you’ll want to keep reading to discover more. Additionally, the following blog explores how Morris County family law attorneys can help you through these matters to ensure your rights are protected.

If I Miss Payments, Will I Lose Custody?

It’s important to understand that child support does not influence your custody, regardless of the fact that custody does impact your child support payments. As such, the courts will not terminate your custody rights simply for failing to pay child support.

However, it should be noted that additional factors, when coupled with failure to pay child support, can lead to the revocation of your custody rights. For example, if you continually fail to make payments and do not follow the parenting schedule set in place, thus violating the custody agreement, this could be grounds to revoke your custody rights.

What Should I Do if I’m Struggling With Payments?

If you are struggling with child support payments, taking the necessary steps to mitigate potential issues is critical. It’s no secret that life can be uncertain, and you may be laid off or incur medical bills that leave you in debt and struggling to meet your support obligations. If you fall behind, several complications can arise from wage garnishment to arrest warrants. As such, the most important thing to do is connect with an attorney. Once you have legal representation, you can request a modification to your child support order. If approved, this will change the court-ordered amount you must pay each month.

It’s important to understand that requesting and receiving a modification isn’t always simple. The courts will consider several factors when determining whether or not to grant this change. The most important factor is your income. If you lost your job through no fault of your own and have been unable to secure new employment, you may find that your payments will be lowered to reflect these changes.

The thought of losing custody over the inability to make child support payments can be concerning, as your ability to pay should not reflect your fitness as a parent. That’s why the team at Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn is ready to assist you. We understand how important it is for parents and children to have a healthy relationship, which is why we will fight for you. Connect with us today to discuss the details of your circumstances with a member of our dedicated team.