There was a time when debtor's prison was a fairly common term. If a person failed to pay his or her debts in New Jersey, he or she would likely have been sentenced to spend time in debtor's prison. Being jailed for failure to pay is a less common occurrence in today's world. But repeated failure to pay child support has landed a person in jail in another state.
A man recently admitted to a probation violation involving failure to pay child support. He had been convicted of first-degree non child support last fall. As part of his probation, he had been mandated to pay a minimum amount of support. Failure to comply resulted in a sentence of one to three years in prison.
This is not a typical case. The man in question had been found to be in contempt of court 26 times for failure to pay child support. The attempt to get him to pay support has been ongoing for a number of years. The amount owed now exceeds $214,000. In addition, he had previously been incarcerated eight times for failure to pay.
There is no question that a person's financial circumstances can change. Changes in employment or health can have a negative impact on one's ability to pay a previously agreed upon support payment in New Jersey. Adjustments are possible if a person appeals to the court to make the change. Someone who finds himself or herself in a difficult situation regarding ability to pay child support would be well advised to seek the advice and counsel of an experienced family law attorney.