In my divorce decree which was in Texas, I was ordered to pay child support, which I paid. In the decree right above the judge's signature was a notice in bold letters that stated that failure to pay child support can bring a jail term of up to 6 months and a fine.

In a friends ongoing divorce in New Jersey, her husband was ordered to pay child support of xxx per month. However he is paying about half of the amount.

When my friend asked her attorney if they could enforce him to pay the entire amount, including arrears of nearly 4 grand, they told her that they couldn't enforce him to pay by threatening jail as long as he's "paying something."

This doesn't make sense to me, as I am fairly certain that penalties of contempt of court exist in New Jersey as well as probably every other state in the US.

What legal remedies are available for failure to pay the entire amount due for child support? Especially when arrears have accumulated that are above 4 thousand dollars? Or is her attorney correct?

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Generally speaking, contempt of court focuses on the person's deliberate noncompliance with the terms of the court order. If your friend files a motion to show cause, she would need to prove that the parent has not fully complied with the order despite his ability to do so. Or perhaps the burden of proof is on the non-compliant parent, depending on how that works in family/divorce matters.

they told her that they couldn't enforce him to pay by threatening jail as long as he's "paying something."

That is accurate under reasonable circumstances. For instance, a parent with a good income would not (or should not) be allowed to elude a finding of contempt merely by paying $1/month. The issue boils down to the extent to which the parent is able to comply with the terms of the order.

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