The Idaho legislature has finally approved a bill that contained provisions ratifying a proposed international child support treaty, after previously rejecting the bill for fear that it would force Idaho courts to recognize Muslim-based Shariah law. New Jersey parents will have a better chance to collect child support from a parent who is living in another country after Idaho's action.
The government continues to develop tools to motivate parents to pay court-ordered child support. These tools include administrative actions such as tax refund intercepts and wage garnishment. In New Jersey and elsewhere, some judges are turning to the threat of imprisonment as motivation to pay child support.
In New Jersey, there are four roles that separated or divorcing parents may assume when the matter of child custody is determined. These are the custodial parent, the noncustodial parent, the parent of primary residence and the parent of alternate residence. Each of these roles affects whether or not a parent is obligated to pay child support to the other parent.
A New Jersey man was taken into custody after authorities discovered that he had four warrants out for his arrest after he allegedly failed to pay his child support. According to the report, he allegedly owed more than $22,000 in child support when he was taken into custody on July 2.
More than 400,000 children in New Jersey depend on child support from noncustodial parents. However, the number of parents who routinely fall behind in their child support payments is staggering. Over the past several years a relatively steady rate of about 58 percent of noncustodial parents are not meeting their child support obligations. When subject to a child support order, failure to pay is a very big deal.
In New Jersey, non-custodial parents who fail to make child support payments can be arrested and have their wages or assets garnished. To receive the monthly payments they need, custodial parents may have to petition the court for an enforcement order.
When a noncustodial parent has been ordered to pay child support but is failing to do so, the custodial parent might be tempted to deny the other parent's visitation time. But parents in New Jersey should keep in mind that child support orders and child custody orders are separate. While one parent could get into legal trouble for failing to pay child support, the custodial parent could also face serious legal ramifications for denying visitation.