August is National Child Support Awareness Month

Aug 25, 2014

In 1995, President Bill Clinton declared August as National Child Support Awareness Month, asking “the citizens of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities.” President Clinton’s proclamation began by stating: Providing for our children is one of humanity’s worthiest and most fundamental endeavors. Children are the best part of ourselves—the sum of our past and the promise of our future, the guarantee that our lives and values and dreams will flourish long after we are gone. Sadly, however, many parents in our country today deny the instinct to care for their children, failing to provide even the most basic economic support. Millions of America’s children have no legally identified father. Millions do not receive the financial support they need to lead secure and healthy lives.

Therefore, the purpose of this initiative was to acknowledge that providing child support is essential to the welfare of children. This year marks the 19th year of August as National Child Support Awareness Month.

It is important to remember that the right to receive child support belongs to the child, not to either parent. Therefore, in New Jersey, neither parent can contract away their right to receive or their obligation to pay child support.  As the paying parent, your relationship with the other parent does not affect the amount of support ordered or your responsibility to pay child support.  Moreover, if you fail to pay child support, the court will take various enforcement measures.

N.J.S.A. 5:3-7(b) lists the enforcement mechanisms available to a custodial parent if the non-custodial parent fails to comply with his or her child support order. These remedies may be granted individually or may be combined, depending on the circumstances. The eight remedies available are:

(1) fixing the amount of arrearages and entering a judgment upon which interest accrues;

(2) requiring payment of arrearages on a periodic basis;

(3) suspension of an occupational license or driver’s license consistent with law;

(4) economic sanctions;

(5) participation by the party in violation of the order in an approved community service program;

(6) incarceration, with or without work release;

(7) issuance of a warrant to be executed upon the further violation of the judgment or order; and

(8) any other appropriate equitable remedy.

This August, remember the vital role that child support plays in a child’s success and future. If you have questions about how to make your child support payments more manageable, or how to enforce an order that has been violated, you should speak with an experienced New Jersey family lawyer, who will discuss your options and the process with you.

If you have questions or concerns about your child support order, contact Sarno da Costa D’Aniello Maceri LLC at 973-274-5200.