Earlier this year in a joint effort by sheriff’s offices across the state of New Jersey, deputies launched an intensive search for non-custodial parents in New Jersey who had stopped paying or refused to pay court-ordered child support. When the three-day sweep was concluded, more than 1,100 individuals in 21 counties had been arrested. Officials say the operation brought in almost $250,000 in back child support payments.
According to published reports, Mercer County led the way, with 206 arrests and more than $40,000 in collected arrearages. Camden County saw 184 arrests and Morris County, with only 69 arrests, still brought in over $38,000. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Essex County has only seven arrests, but took in no money in back payments. Hunterdon County, with just six arrests, netted almost $5,000.
State officials admit, though, that the amount collected pales compared to what is actually owed. They estimate that total child support debts in New Jersey exceed $25 million. Michael Strada, Sussex County Sheriff and president of the Sheriff’s Association of New Jersey, said that he hoped the combined efforts sent a message to delinquent parents—if you don’t pay, you may be arrested. He also said that the efforts of the various sheriff’s departments were hampered to some degree by the failure of many non-custodial parents to provide the court with correct address information. He noted that such failure often accompanies an intent to avoid child support obligations.
Regardless of what side of the equation, whether you are the one paying support, or the once receiving it, child support is a serious issue. That is why it is so important to have sound counsel at your side.
Contact the New Jersey Family Law Office of Lyons & Associates
At Lyons & Associates, we bring a high level of personalized service and attention to men and women in New Jersey. For a confidential consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 908-575-9777.