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What happens if I stop paying child support?

Noncustodial parents with a court order for child support are required to make these payments to the custodial parent on time and in full. If the noncustodial parent fails to pay the court-ordered child support, they are facing a number of issues. New Jersey will take a number of steps to ensure that these payments are made to assist the custodial parent in providing the child with food, housing, clothing, health insurance, and anything else they may need.

In order to make sure the noncustodial parent makes their child support payments, New Jersey tracks when the payments are due and whether they are made. New Jersey’s Child Support Agency has an enforcement program that works towards holding noncustodial parents accountable. If the noncustodial parent fails to make payments, the Child Support Program can withhold income, inform credit reporting companies, take control of assets, suspend his or her driver’s license, deny them of a passport, take control of lottery winnings, and more. They can even go as far as to issue a warrant for the arrest of the parent who has neglected to fulfill their child support obligations.

If you are a noncustodial parent and cannot afford to make your child support payments due to a change in financial circumstance, it is important that you apply for a modification instead of simply not making payments at all. If there is truly a significant change in your fiscal situation, the court may consider lowering your payments. However, until the change is legally ordered by the court, you should continue to make the payments you were initially ordered to. Contact an experienced family law attorney who can provide you with assistance in these matters.

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