Behind on Your Child Support?

Can Your Ex Deny Visitation until You Pay All Arrearages?

Behind on Your Child Support?When your marriage ends in divorce in New Jersey, and there are minor children still at home, you can expect that the court will order the payment of child support by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent. That commitment is more than a moral obligation—you can face potential sanctions for failing to pay or stay current with your child support obligations.

If you’re like most non-custodial parents, you’ll work hard to honor that commitment. Unfortunately, for many of us, unforeseen circumstances, such as the loss of a job or a serious accident or medical emergency, can make it difficult or impossible to stay current with child support. Can you risk loss of access to your minor children if you fall behind with your child support? Can your ex refuse to grand access to your children unless you make payments or bring arrearages current?

The Relationship between Visitation and Child Support in New Jersey

In New Jersey, as in all states, the rights of a non-custodial parent to visitation are not contingent upon the payment of child support. Accordingly, a custodial parent may not deny visitation to a non-custodial parent because of any type of arrearage in payments.

If a non-custodial parent fails to make child support payments in a timely manner, the custodial parent can file a motion for contempt of court, which may lead to any of a number of sanctions, including:

  • A temporary or permanent modification of parenting time/custodial arrangements
  • The issuance of an income withholding order, whereby child support payments are taken directly from the payor’s wages
  • The issuance of a bench warrant, which will automatically suspend the payor’s driver’s license
  • A tax offset, whereby any tax refund due to the payer will be diverted to pay past child support
  • Notification to credit reporting agencies

If, on the other hand, a custodial parent wrongfully refuses visitation because of a child support arrearage, the non-custodial parent may also file a motion for contempt of court. The court can then issue a subsequent order compelling visitation, including compensatory visitation for any time denied.

Contact the Law Office of David M. Lipshutz

We will only take your case if we know we can help. For an appointment, contact our office online or call us at 856-627-1990. We are available to meet with you Monday through Friday, between 9 am and 5 pm.

Speak Your Mind