Victims Of The System - FOX 13 News

Victims Of The System

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Bergen County, New Jersey (My9NJ) - The Bergen County Sheriff completed what some have referred to as a pre-Christmas “Deadbeat Parent” round-up, arresting 43 parents who owe child support.

Ariel Schochet avoided arrest this time, but has been arrested 9 times in the past 2 years for his inability to make his payments. His first arrest happened after he lost his job and still owed the money which is was unable to pay. “I kept paying my alimony and child support payments as long as I could. I blew through all my savings, I blew through my 401k and it got to the point where I just couldn’t pay it anymore,” he said.

When these accounts were empty, his wages were garnished and his license was suspended. Then, one day the police showed up and arrested him, right in front of his children.

In New Jersey, alimony and child support payments are co-mingled, so if you’re late for one, you’re late for both. Schochet owes his ex-wife and four daughters $2,000 a week - $1,600 in alimony and $400 in child support.

Schochet says he is a victim of a system that doesn’t take a changing economy into account. “My ex-wife didn’t work when things were good, when I was making tons of money. But if we were married, she would have to work today also. It’s not that I’m being a deadbeat dad. It’s that the economy changed,” he said.

Schochet also addressed the unfortunate circumstances of how so many parents in Bergen County have been arrested just before Christmas.

“The men in the Bergen County Jail, they have no ability to get themselves out of this predicament, because by definition they can’t afford lawyers. By definition they don’t have the resources or the money to bail themselves out,” he said.

By law you cannot be punished for missing a payment, you can only be coerced. This means that if you are unable to make a payment then you cannot be arrested. Unfortunately, Bergen County never went through the steps to prove that Schochet couldn’t make the payments so he was forced to go through an appeals process in order to get himself out of his most recent arrest until the Bergen County system is able to look further into his finances.


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