New Bill Seeks to Reform Child Support Garnishments

Assemblyman Representing Portions of South Jersey, Jersey Shore Introduces Legislation to Implement Child Support Accuracy Standards

Alimony and Child Support CheckOrdering a child support obligation into being is one thing; collecting it is another. That’s why we adopt a holistic approach here at the Jersey Legal blog and endeavor to explain the process from start to finish.

To review, the three major ways to collect child support are by (1) direct pay to the payee, (2) through the county probation department when the payor sends a check, or (3) through a wage execution or garnishment levied against the payor’s paycheck.

In almost all circumstances, we recommend that our clients pay or receive support through Probation in order to ensure an accurate (and indisputable) accounting of support payments.

That doesn’t mean the process is perfect. Mistakes happen, and the chance of error can be elevated by a number of factors including when a payor earns income from more than one W-2 source. Now Assemblyman Ron Dancer who represents portions of Ocean, Burlington, Middlesex and Monmouth counties is introducing legislation which would require the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to establish new procedures with the aim to ensure greater accuracy when child support is garnished from a paycheck.

The bill’s sponsor claims A-4256 (click here to read the first draft) will help guarantee that child support “is paid timely with no underpayments or overpayments” as well as compel probation departments to set guidelines for refunds of over payments.

“The payment of child support benefits is first and foremost about promoting the best interests of children,” said Asm. Dancer. “While we sometimes hear reports of ‘deadbeat’ fathers or mothers who defy court orders to make payments, the vast majority honor their obligations. This measure is intended to ensure accuracy and fairness throughout the process for all parties.

“During the past few years, constituents have contacted me about instances where they have been out of work and paid in full their obligation of child support on time from savings and the sale of personal assets only to have the State deduct a duplicate payment of child support from their unemployment check,” Dancer continued.

As always, we will continue to monitor these legislative and judicial developments on behalf of our clients. Experienced assistance is a quick phone call or email away when you’re grappling with questions or concerns involving child support.

If you have any questions regarding the difference between direct pay and wage garnishment, or have any other general questions regarding divorce, child support or spousal support, please contact us online today or call (856) 546-1350 for a confidential consultation with one of our skilled family court lawyers.