Incarceration For Willful Non-Payment of Child Support in NJ Requires Specific Findings of Fact
- September 25, 2012
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At times, failure to pay child support is intentional and other times it is unintentional. Judges may not make arbitrary decisions based upon their personal judgments as to the character of the non-paying individual. In the case in which such findings may lead to incarceration or invasion of the individual’s rights from an order to wean and ankle bracelet for monitoring, this is even more so. When a court is making a finding regarding the ability of a child support obligor to pay, the judge is required to permit the obligor to testify on his or her own behalf and to present evidence in support of their inabilty to pay. Due to changed circumstances such as job loss, other court ordered obligations, failure of a business, disability, lack of work or other reasons for reduced income an obligor may be entitled to a reduction in child support and some flexibility regarding payment of arrears. A judge must set forth on the record specific finding of facts as to how they reached their decision in a matter. When an obligor’s freedom and rights are at stake, the requirement of clear reasons from an unbiased point of view is even more necessary. This blog is for informational purposes only and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney regarding your specific matter. If you are seeking, or subject to, enforcement or modification of child support in Family Court, you should consult an experienced family law attorney immediately in order to protect your rights. For more information on child support, enforcement, modification, alimony, divorce, dissolution of civil union or domestic partnership, custody or other family law matters in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com.