Many New Jersey residents use gig work as their sole sources of income, and others perform this type of work to supplement their incomes. While the availability of gig work has been a financial boon to people, some parents have used the gig economy as a way to avoid their child support obligations.
New Jersey workers whose wages are garnished for child support are more likely to be men than women. A nationwide study by the ADP Research Institute that was released on Sept. 27 found that of the 7 percent of workers who had wage garnishments in 2016, nearly three quarters were men and the majority were for child support. Consumer debt, student loans and taxes were more common reasons for women to have garnishments. Almost two-thirds of people whose wages were garnished were 35 to 54 years old.
Child support is an obligation, even if the parents are separated or divorced. Once a child support order is established, the paying parent is responsible for the monthly amount. However, as New Jersey parents know, life is full of changes and there might come a time when there is a need to modify a support order.
Despite the fact that both parents are legally mandated to support their children, child support often goes unpaid. One study in the 1990s found that while almost half of child support payments were in default, the same was true of only 3 percent of car loans. However, in some cases, a New Jersey parent might struggle to keep up child support payments because the amount has been set so high. In other cases, custodial parents might abuse the system by using the child support money for their own personal items.
In some cases, suddenly having a physical disability can affect how well people are able to meet their financial obligations. New Jersey parents who receive or have to pay child support may be interested to know what happens if the party who is obligated to pay experiences a physical disability.
In some cases, a parent in New Jersey might want to stop receiving child support payments from the other parent for one of several reasons. For example, the parents might get back together.
New Jersey fathers who do not pay child support may be less likely to see their children than fathers who do pay according to a study conducted by a scientist at the nonprofit Child Trends and a professor at Cornell University. The study, which appeared in the Journal of Marriage and Family, looked at a group of families and their children from their birth to the age of 9.
Many New Jersey residents are aware that President Trump has delayed or blocked many regulations that were issued under the Obama administration, but he has not done so with one dealing with child support. It took effect on Jan. 19 and changes how states assess and collect child support from parents who are incarcerated.
It is a common misconception among New Jersey parents that child support obligations terminate once the child turns 18. It is true that if a child is emancipated, then further child support is not required, but this does not mean that past-due child support is waived. There are also some circumstances that could cause child support to continue past a child's 18th birthday.
Although children become legal adults at the age of 18, they do not necessarily emancipate from child support. In New Jersey, child support termination is usually decided on a case-by-case basis. This often depends on the young adult's situation and whether or not they are continuing to live with and be supported by the custodial parent after the age of 18. However, potential changes to the laws surrounding child support termination may be important for parents to consider as their children reach adulthood.