NJ Rounds Up 1,221 Deadbeat Parents Owing $25.4M and They’re About to Arrest More
New Jersey residents behind on their child support payments are being warned to expect another statewide sweep in the very near future.
“Typically, it’s twice a year we get together the sheriffs in each county and they go out and do these raids for that particular period of the year,” said John Armeno, executive director of the Sheriffs Association of New Jersey.
He said the deadbeat-parent raids are carried out “prior to school going back, so hopefully some of the money would be coming in to help these children get clothing, and then again in the wintertime before December, when Christmas is around.”
The last child support sweep took place Feb. 2 to the 4, when 1,221 delinquent parents were taken into custody.
Approximately $224,088 was collected during the crackdown, but the total amount of money owed on warrants was $25.4 million.
“Once they’re arrested they go into the court, they go before a judge, the judge will take what’s on them at that particular time and then they will be released,” said Armeno. “Later that week they’re supposed to come back with some money, and sometimes it is done, but most of the time it is not.”
"There’s an awful lot of money that should be collected, but it usually doesn’t happen," he said.
Armeno said the locations where deadbeat parents are arrested varies widely, sometimes it’s in urban areas in the state, sometimes in the suburbs or rural parts.
The roundups take place in all 21 counties. Sheriff's offices in each County work together along with the New Jersey Division of Family Services, the state Probation Office and the Administrative Office of the Courts to coordinate outstanding warrants for parents delinquent on child support.
Sheriffs Association is putting out a warning about another crackdown “to let these deadbeat moms and dads out there know that we know you’re out there, and we want to come and get you,” he said.
He said warrants are issued and arrests are made year round, but the statewide sweeps give authorities the chance to shine a spotlight on the situation.
“When you’ve got non-supportive parents, the hardship is on the children,” he said. “We think that’s a big deal and it’s something that must be addressed.”