It does seem incongruous that a jailed person is expected to pay child support, and yet, that is how the system is set up. It works very well with parents who HAVE the money and simply don't want to pay child support. Such people will quickly come up with the money to pay in order to get out of jail. However, for poorer people it becomes a sort of debtors' prison.
New Jersey has many penalties for people who fall behind on child support payments, including jail, revocation of his driver's license, seizure of bank accounts, seizure of tax refunds, etc. Many parents become so far behind in child support that they flee states with such harsh penalties, as they cannot earn enough to make the payments necessary to avoid jail. And, New Jersey does not allow for retroactive modification of child support arrearages. Therefore, even if your husband could get his current child support modified, that would have absolutely no effect on his arrearages. But if he could petition for a modification, at least that would reduce the amount he has to pay over-all.
If your husband is sentenced and serves time, he would need to get his child support modified so that the amount of arrearage that accrues while he is incarcerated won't continue to grow to such a horrible amount. If he cannot get the child support modified, then yes, he will face potential jail when he gets out of prison.
Good luck to you!
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Attorney at Law
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