Parents may be responsible for making child support payments even if they find themselves in a New Jersey jail. This may be true even if a noncustodial parent is unable to generate an income while in custody. However, it may be possible to have the terms of a child support order changed before going into custody. Custodial parents may ask to have an order amended or suspended on behalf of a noncustodial parent who is going to be spending time in jail.
Under federal law, a state cannot view time spent in jail as voluntary unemployment. That may make it easier to have a child support arrangement modified or suspended until an individual is in a better financial position. It is important to note that only a judge can change the terms of an existing order. Otherwise, payments must generally be made as ordered, and those who fail to live up to their obligations may face additional penalties.
In some cases, an individual will be required to use alternate sources of income to provide for their children while in custody. For instance, it may be necessary to sell a portion of a stock portfolio or liquidate other assets in an effort to raise funds. Individuals might also be able to use rental income or other sources of passive income to financially support their children.
Those who have children will likely be asked to pay child support if they not granted custody of their sons and daughters following a divorce. Parents may ask that orders be modified if they experience a significant change in financial circumstances. In addition to going to jail, a loss of income or a medical expense may be considered a legitimate change of financial circumstances that could result in a lower monthly payment