Long Island NY Child Support Arrears Attorneys
How Do You Get in Child Support Arrears?
When two parents separate in New York, one parent is often granted more custodial rights than the other. Upon separation, the non-custodial parent, the one without physical or legal custody, is usually ordered to make child support payments. These payments are meant to supplement the income the parent with custody would have had if the two parents were still together.
When the non-custodial parent falls behind on these payments, it’s known as going into child support arrears. The state of New York takes this very seriously and if not handled properly, being in arrears could even end in jail time for the non-custodial parent.
Enforcement of Child Support in New York
Most non-custodial parents choose to have their child support payments taken out of their paycheck automatically. Unemployed parents, self-employed parents, or those who do not have a regular paycheck may send their child support payment by mail or money order. In any case, child support payments in New York are payable to the Support Collection Unit, a government organization that collects and distributes child support payments.
When a non-custodial parent is unable to pay their child support for a certain length of time, they fall into child support arrears. When this happens, the Support Collection Unit will take action to collect those payments. These actions may include:
- Garnishing of wages
- Freezing of unemployment benefits, or deducting benefits
- Holding or freezing of tax refund
- Seizure of bank accounts
These are all valid actions that the Support Collection Unit can take in order to collect payments, and none of them require going to court. In addition, child support payments may be increased by 50 percent until the non-custodial parent becomes up-to-date on all child support payments.
If the Department of Social Services makes a claim with the court that the non-custodial parent has failed to make their child support payments, that parent may also be found in contempt of court. When this occurs, it can result in penalties such as a suspension of the non-custodial parent’s driver’s license.
Help for Parents in Child Support Arrears
Of course, most non-custodial parents don’t fall behind on their child support payments because they want to. In most cases, the non-custodial parent has fallen on hard times, recently become unemployed, or has unexpected circumstances and expenses.
Unfortunately, once a non-custodial parent falls into arrears on their child support, those past payments cannot be reduced and will still need to be paid in full. However, that doesn’t mean there is nothing that a parent can do.
When parents are struggling to make their child support payments, they can petition the New York family courts to lower the amount of their child support payments. This will not lower past amounts, but it can defer the 50 percent that is often added when wages are garnished. Petitioning the family court can also be done if it’s been more than three years since the last child support agreement was made, or if the non-custodial parent has recently become unemployed.
When non-custodial parents’ income falls below the poverty line, the courts may also choose to place a cap, or a maximum amount, on the child support payments they’re required to pay. If you are a parent who has fallen behind on your child support payments, contact the Law Offices of Paul A. Boronow, PC, at (516) 227-5353. We know how to get you the help you need, but you need to act as quickly as possible. Child support payments can be capped and lowered, but in the state of New York, nothing can happen until a petition is filed.
- Child Support Blogs
- Can I Get a New York Child Support Decree Modified?
- New Law Clarifies How to Handle New York Spousal Maintenance and Child Support
- Tips for Negotiating Child Support in a New York Divorce
- Why It Is Important to Negotiate Child Support in a High Net Worth Divorce
More questions about Child Support?
Call us today at 516-227-5353 for a free consultation
Dedicated. Compassionate. On Your Side