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Hudson County cracks down on non-paying parents

In Hudson County, New Jersey, a recent sweep performed by the Hudson County Sheriff's Office brought 60 people into custody. Together, the individuals owe $879,461 in child support.

Unpaid child support can cause serious financial turmoil for families as well as the state. Each year, New Jersey cracks down on noncustodial parents that choose not to make their allotted child support payments.

This year, the initial wave of warrants allowed sheriff's officers to place 51 parents owing $723,760 under arrest. The next day, another nine were taken into custody. These nine people owe $155,700. On average, each parent owes more than $14,500.

The majority of those arrested were men; only one woman was arrested. The 45-year-old mother from Jersey City, New Jersey owes $56,173 to her former partner, but she did not possess the highest debt. A 47-year-old man, also from Jersey City, held that title with the $110,298.75 that he owes. Another man-a 53-year-old-owes $77,888.76. Together, the three of them have either refused or been unable to pay nearly $250,000 in child support.

The youngest person arrested during the crackdown was a 20-year-old male that owes a little more than $1,300. The oldest was a 67-year-old male, owing approximately $5,000 to the mother of his child.

According to the Hudson County sheriff, there are more parents like these out there. He said that his officers are on the lookout for many of these individuals and those parents who do not pay the support that is owed will be taken into custody sooner or later.

There are many reasons why parents who have been ordered to pay child support do not make the required payment. Often it is a personal grudge against their former partner or spouse, but that is not always the case. For some noncustodial parents, they have encountered financial roadblocks that have made it impossible for them to pay the ordered amount of support. In cases like this, a modification of child support may be an option to lower the payments to an attainable amount.

Source: The Jersey Journal, "Hudson 'deadbeat' dads roundup nets 60; one owes more than $110,000, authorities say," Charles Hack, Dec. 12, 2011

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