According to a recent report, more than 1,800 men and women were either sentenced to home confinement or incarcerated last year in two counties in New Jersey because they failed to make their child support payments. These numbers have raised attention to this important issue throughout the country and drawn controversy from supporters of the punishment, as well as critics who say that the punishments are too harsh.
Those who support the jailing of parents who fail to make support payments say that incarceration is the only sensible way to punish them. Currently, parents in New Jersey owe the state a total of more than $2.9 billion in child support, an absolutely staggering number.
However, those against this level of punishment say that jailing offenders does nothing to help them actually make the payments they owe. The report mentions parents who have served as many as 15 stints in jail over the past eight years because of missing child support payments. It's easy to imagine how serving so much time in jail could impact one's ability to make enough money pay child support.
The two counties where this is the biggest issue in New Jersey are Bergen County and Passaic County. The problem became so pervasive last December that the Bergen County Sheriff's department performed a raid that led to the arrests of 37 different parents who collectively owed nearly $700,000.
Child support arrangements can be difficult for mothers and fathers alike, but you must make your payments on time to avoid these types of consequences. Working with an experienced child support and divorce attorney can help you to reach payment amounts that you can afford and reasonably abide by. If you're dealing with a difficult child support issue, don't hesitate to contact the skilled family law attorneys at Siegel, Reilly & Kaufman, LLC in Stamford.