it varies from state to state and to judge to judge, a good faith payment will alwyas help. take care.
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I suggest your boyfriend consult with an experienced family attorney to assist him with his questions. It is unlikely that he will have his outstanding arrears "purged" as you suggest, but he may be able to lower his child support so that his arrears don't continue to accrue at such an alarming rate. He will need to file a Motion to allow him to make payments towards the outstanding arrears and get any arrest warrants on him for non-payment. If he can make a payment towards the outstanding arrears, he has a good change of being able to stay out of jail.
The sooner he acts, the better he will be. If he continues to be in arrears without taking action, he could be picked up in a sweep of deadbeat parents.
This answer is being made for informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice. By responding to a question, no attorney-client relationship has been established.
Agreeing with the above, waiting only makes it worse with child support. Your boyfriend may wish to file a motion to reduce either his support obligation or the amount being taken from him to pay his arrears--if any--sooner rather than later. In either case, he will want to make arrangements to make payments towards his arrears if he is not already doing so. He may even be able to work with the mother of the children to draft and file a Consent Order regarding the matter. Above all, he is going to want to consult with counsel, due to the large amount of arrears and the possible negative impact an arrest may have on his employment and other aspects of his life.
I also recommend that you consult with an attorney. When there are outstanding bench warrants due to support arrears some people elect to turn themselves in the Monmouth County Sheriff and can appear before a judge and be release with partial payment. There are other remedies available to address someone who is unable to pay such as a stay of enforcement. Again, I suggest you consult with an attorney as to the specifics of this case and what options are available.