A New Jersey judge has temporarily stopped the state from enforcing a law so that a man who was behind on his court-ordered child support could get a professional license. Though the law prohibits the issuance of trade licenses to anyone who is 6 months behind in child support payments, the judge issued the injunction based on the circumstances of the case.
The father, who owes more than $31,000 in child support for his two sons, studied to become an electrician while he was in prison. He served a 10-year sentence for drug conspiracy and criminal sexual contact charges. The judge allowed him to get apply for an electrician's license because he had no other capacity to pay the past-due child support.
State officials have not decided whether or not to appeal the judge's decision. The father in this case reportedly said that he is trying to pay his child support the best he can. He admitted that he made a mistake but he is trying to take advantage of the opportunity he was given to learn a trade and hopes that other people in his situation can do the same.
New Jersey courts have a number of methods to enforce child support orders, including passport denial, wage garnishment and professional license denial. An attorney who has experience in family law may be able to help a client who is behind in child support obligations by filing a motion to temporarily amend the child support order to a more reasonable amount until the delinquent parent is able to meet the required payments.
Source: NBC Philadelphia, "Judge Blocks Child Support Act", December 13, 2013