Seven Ways to Snag a Deadbeat Parent Who Won’t Pay Support for a Child

Posted August 25th, 2016.

Categories: Child Custody, Divorce, Family Law.

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When a deadbeat dad or a deadbeat mom refuses to pay child support, it’s typical for the other parent to file a motion in court asking the judge to enforce the support order. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t work.

But there are actually at least 7 different get-tough maneuvers available to parents who are having difficulty collecting child support. New Jersey Court Rule 5:3-7(b) allows you put on your boxing gloves and get down to business. For those deadbeat parents who are violating child support orders, the penalties can range from loss of a driver’s license to jail time.

Let’s take a look at some of the options that are available to you, if you file the right motion:

1. CONVERT TO JUDGMENT WITH INTEREST. Get the judge to turn the court order for support into a “judgment.” When it becomes a “judgment” for support, then you can start executing on the parent’s property. In other words, you can seize his car, or his bank account to collect his arrears. Plus, a judgment accrues interest while you’re waiting to collect it.

2. UPDATE THE ARREARS. Calculate the total amount of overdue support and obtain an order requiring payment of the arrearages on a periodic basis. Usually, the Court will add an additional increment of support for the outstanding arrearages on top of the regular amount of support already owed to you. Be sure to regularly update the arrears balance with the Court.

3. SUSPEND ALL LICENSES. The court can be asked to suspend not only a driver’s license but any kind of occupational license or perhaps recreational license. This may include, for example, a parent’s license to practice law, medicine, cosmetology or other profession; it may include hunting and fishing licenses as well.

4. IMPOSE FINES. The court can impose economic sanctions (fines). If you’re involved in a divorce or other domestic relations case, the court can impose other kinds of economic penalties as well.

5. COMMUNITY SERVICE. The court can require the delinquent party to participate in an approved community service program.

6. JAIL TIME. The court can order incarceration for anybody who violates a child support order, either with or without work release.

7. CONDITIONAL WARRANT FOR ARREST. The court can be asked to issue a warrant to be executed upon any further violation of the judgment or child support order. This will essentially serve as a final warning to pay up or go to jail.

Rule 5:3-7(b) does not stop there. It actually contains an eighth provision entitled “any other appropriate equitable remedy,” which means that the court will consider any other device or strategy that you or your lawyer might propose to enforce a child support order that is being violated.

If you have any questions concerning a New Jersey family law case, please visit

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