A recent case decided in New Jersey courts could have a significant impact on divorced parents who are ordered to pay support to their children. Child support can sometimes be a contentious issue, but decisions made by the court will always take the stance that the welfare of the child or children in question is paramount. Sadly, while most parents have deep concerns for a child’s wellbeing, failure to consistently make child support payments remains a serious issue.
Failure to pay can and often is tied to a change in financial ability to pay. Appeals can be made to the court to modify arrangements if this is the case. One such case where the parent did not disclose a hardship but continuously filed motions to delay paying child support resulted in a change in how accounts held by one parent can be garnished to pay child support.
The Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court ruled that funds in retirement accounts could be used to comply with child support orders. The case, Orlowsky v. Orlowsky, stated that a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) could be used to garnish funds from federally protected retirement accounts to cover child support payments that are in arrears if there is no other alternative.
Facing divorce in New Jersey where children are involved can be a traumatic experience for parents and children. Child support is intended to provide for the wellbeing of the child and to allow the child to continue the same quality of life as was experienced when the parents were together. A parent facing divorce who has concerns regarding child support could benefit from consulting with a professional familiar with current law.