I have warrant for child support in Atlantic county in new jersey im going to turn my shelf in today , how long dose it take to see a judge and what is the maximum they can hold a person in jail for nonpayment in Atlantic county
Go to family court and indicate you are there to address an outstanding warrant for child support. You will likely sit a long time today before being reached by the judge. If the calendar is very busy, you would not be reached until Monday and you could be held over the weekend. The purpose of the warrant is for you to appear before the Court to explain why you are in arrears and what you can do to make payments to remedy the situation and for the judge to assess whether you are acting in good faith. There are no recommended terms of jail time because this is not a criminal warrant. If you can be prepared with a lump sum payment and a promise to pay something each week that is acceptable to the Court you may not be held. The amount of lump sum and ongoing payment toward arrears is custom to each payor and depends on the circumstances.
If it is not acceptable to the judge then you will get to stay for a while. Years ago we used to refer to these hearings as "pay or stay". Be prepared if you buy coffee in the morning or smoke the judges often will ask how much you spend on those items and suggest that child support comes first.
It would be wise for you to determine whether you qualify for a change of circumstances hearing on your underlying child support obligation to see if there is anything you can do to reduce your obligation. This change would need to be a permanent change, not simply unemployment which is deemed temporary unless you are prevented from employment due to physical disability that is permanent. Unless a child has been emancipated there is usually nothing to be done about reducing arrears due to federal and state law.
I agree with Catherine above - there is no specific time that you may be held for if you turn yourself into the Court. If you have a case manager through Probation, you should give that person a call and try to find out the size of a lump sum payment that will satisfy the warrant. If you can do that and drop off a check for that amount, you may not need to turn yourself into the court.
This answer does not constitute the establishment of an attorney/client relationship nor is there any guarantee that this advice will be completely effective in a court of law. A consultation, including review of court orders and other documents is necessary in order for me to give you proper advice and guidance.
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