You may be divorced, but that doesn’t always end your relationship with a former partner. If you have children, the court may order your spouse to pay child support. Child support is court-ordered support to account for the needs of a child post-divorce. Yet, when a parent fails to pay child support, how do you recover the money you’re owed?
When the other parent opts out of their financial obligation, it can put you in a difficult position. At The Mandel Law Firm, we want you to know that if you are owed child support in New York, there are resources available to help you get the money you are due.
What Is Child Support?
Child support is a court-ordered payment that helps ensure that a child has the financial support they need to live a healthy life. Child support payments are typically issued to the custodial parent, meaning the parent with primary physical custody of the child. The non-custodial parent, or the parent the child spends the least amount of time living with, is generally the parent responsible for making payments to the custodial parent.
New York state guidelines dictate child support payments. The formula for calculating child support payments considers each parent’s income and the number of dependent children who will need to be supported by the parents following a divorce.
Enforcing a Child Support Agreement
If a parent is not meeting their child support obligations, you have options for enforcing your court-ordered child support arrangement. Your options include:
- Filing a violation petition with a New York court – When a parent fails to pay, you can file a violation petition in court asking that action be taken. The court will hold a hearing to determine whether a violation has occurred and whether that violation is willful or non-willful. A willful violation means the parent did not make payments, even though they can pay. A non-willful violation means the parent did not make payments but did not have the means to pay.
- Reaching out to the New York Support Collection Agency – If you are receiving child support through the Support Collection Unit or SCU, you can file an application with the agency asking for help in collecting past-due child support payments.
Getting the Child Support Money You Are Owed
Once you have taken the proper steps to enforce your child support agreement, the SCU or New York court system can use several different means to help you collect the money you are owed. These agencies may attempt to collect money from the delinquent parent by garnishing their wages or tax refund. They may also decide it is appropriate to penalize the individual until they pay the past due balance. Actions that the court or SCU may take can include:
- Driver’s license suspension
- Passport denial
- Garnishing wages
- Garnishing federal and state income tax refunds
- Reducing credit rating
- Freezing financial assets
- Jail time
New York can also collect money from a delinquent parent by having that person’s unemployment insurance benefits garnished, lottery winnings intercepted, or a lien placed on their real estate or property.
Owed Child Support? Talk to an Experienced New York Family Law Attorney Today
Failing to pay child support is taken seriously in New York. At The Mandel Law Firm, we want to do everything in our power to make sure you and your child are taken care of and have a bright future.
If you need help recovering the child support you are owed, contact us online or call our New York office at (646) 770-3868 today for a confidential consultation.