If you have been awarded alimony and/or child support upon divorcing your spouse, one of the first things you can do to help ensure continuity of payment is to request that payments be made through the Probation Division (“probation”). Payment of support through probation has the advantage of providing you with online access to view your account, including an ongoing record of payments, arrears, and disbursements. More importantly, you will have the power of law enforcement in your corner to implement enforcement measures, such as suspension of driving privileges, notifications on the obligor’s passport to prevent him or her from leaving the country, ordering the obligor to a hearing, levying on bank accounts and tax refunds, and even issuing an arrest warrant. Moreover, the probation division automatically applies periodic cost of living adjustments to child support obligations.
If your support is not payable through probation, and your former spouse stops paying, you must then file a motion for enforcement of the order for support. In your motion for enforcement, you should request that the obligor bring all payments current and that all future support payments be made through the Probation Division. If you decide to hire an attorney to file the enforcement application, your attorney will also request that you be reimbursed for your attorney’s fees.
Various remedies are available to a judge addressing a violation of alimony or child support orders. The court may fix the amount of arrearages and enter judgment and/or require payment of arrearages on a periodic basis. The court has the power to suspend an occupational or driver’s license or direct that the obligor pay economic sanctions. The court may also direct the obligor to a community service program or order them to be incarcerated with or without work release, if available in the county of venue. The court may also issue an arrest warrant to be executed upon further violation, and order that the obligor reimburse the recipient for attorney’s fees.
 For more information or to view how the support enforcement division works, go to www.njchildsupport.org. Despite the reference to “child support,” alimony obligations are also payable and enforceable through probation.
Patricia L. Veres, Esq. is a partner at Veres & Riordan, LLC, in Denville, New Jersey.PLV@VRfamilylaw.com or 973-537-1700
This article is meant to be a brief overview of the process and remedies available. For more detailed assistance as to your particular circumstances, contact a Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney.