How to Handle Missed Child Support Payments in NJ Family Court
Family Law Attorneys Providing Counsel to clients across New Jersey and Passaic County, including Wayne, Clifton, Little Falls, West Milford, and Woodland Park
Though child support is often a contentious issue, it is necessary for the quality of life for most children in two-family households. It is often used to pay for schools, household bills, and many other critical expenses. Needless to say, it is very stressful when a child support payment does not arrive. Household bills and child activity payments will still need to be paid. It is often a serious situation even after a single child support payment hasn’t arrived but becomes even more so after several payments have been missed.
Though sometimes it may only take a gentle reminder to get the support back on track, sadly sometimes it can be a much longer process. Though every client’s situation is unique it is always recommended to address the issue of missed child support payments as soon as possible.
Steps to Take if Child Support Payment(s) are Missed
If you find yourself in the situation not receiving a child support payment you should first send a friendly reminder. This may be done by text, phone call, or email message. The reminder should include the due date and amount that was to be sent. It is useful to note the date and time of this communication as well as the result. Being combative or nasty is not helpful thus you should keep your communications professional.
If you receive no response or are told the payment isn’t coming, you should begin to explore other options. It is important not to lose your cool due to the fact that emotions can cause irrational behavior which is always unproductive.
Figure Out Alternative Financial Plans if Possible for the Short Term
In the absence of the funds that you should receive in child support payments, you will first need to come up with a way to pay your bills. It is important not to destroy your credit or have your kids miss activities. You may need to use your savings, ask family and/or friends for a loan, or explore the option of salary advance through your employer. You may also need to call your creditors to explain the situation and see if payment plans can be arranged.
Have a Legal Strategy to Protect the Rights of You and Your Child(ren)
The next thing you will need to do have a legal strategy to protect your rights. An experienced attorney can be invaluable in this regard. You must remember that the court order that stipulates child support payments including a specified amount and due dates is a legally binding and fully enforceable document. It doesn’t matter if it was agreed to or imposed by the court, it must be followed. You will have the law is on your side if you do not receive them.
Never agree to modifications in child support obligations without your attorney
In cases where you and your former partner have a good or cordial relationship, your co-parent may try to negotiate with you outside of the legal process. However, it is important that you not agree to a new payment amount or schedule without first consulting with your legal counsel. Having a friendly relationship does not pay your expenses or provide you with the financial security you will need to bring stability to the lives of your children. Any change of circumstances or possible modifications should be done through the court so they will be legally binding. Furthermore, the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services states that child support payments must be received and processed by the New Jersey Family Support Payment Center (NJFSPC). Anything outside of that may not be recognized.
It is critical to remember that in the interest of your children as well as for your emotional health, it is best to take the high road as much as possible. All discussions about child support should be kept between you, your attorney and your ex-partner or co-parent. It is best not to include your children in the conversation as it may put your children in the middle of a very tense situation and expose them to adult issues they may not be psychologically or emotionally equipped to handle.
Contact a Woodland Park Child Support Attorney Today to Protect the Financial Stability of Your Household
The offices of The Montanari Law Group have handled countless child support cases for their clients in Passaic County including towns such as Clifton, Wayne, Little Falls, and Woodland Park. Our attorneys treat each case with the respect and diligence they require, striving to honor the firm’s mission “from our view all challenges are surmountable”. Contact our law offices today at 973.233.4396 for your free legal consultation.