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Matrimonial and Family Law Blog

Thursday, February 15, 2018

How Do I Get My Ex to Pay Child Support?

You finally got through the divorce and thought that your life would calm down and improve as you and your children found your new normal. Things would be tight financially, but between your job and the court-ordered child support, you will be able to make ends meet. As the months go by, your ex gets later and later in paying the support. Over time, an arrearage has accumulated, putting great financial stress on you, because you still have to figure out how to pay all your bills, clothe, and feed the children without the money your ex was supposed to pay. It may be time to enlist the help of a skilled NY child custody lawyer.

New York has multiple procedures to help collect overdue child support. Some remedies are administrative, and others require court action.

How to Pursue Past Due Child Support in Court

Your lawyer can file a motion with the court that entered the child support order, seeking a court order that he or she pay the already-ordered support. While this tactic might sound pointless, in that if your ex ignored the original order, he or she might also blow off the second order, a violation of the second order can result in penalties that can include jail time, garnished wages, and other remedies.

Administrative remedies

Before the state takes action, they will send a notice to the parent ordered to pay support (non-custodial parent). The notice will warn the parent of what can happen if they do not comply with the required payments by the deadlines contained in the notice. Depending on how much back support the non-custodial parent owes or how old the debt is, the state or the court can take these enforcement actions:

  • Income execution. The state or the court can order the non-custodial parent’s employer to withhold money from the parent’s paycheck or other income for current and/or back support.
  • Intercept of unemployment check. If the parent is receiving Unemployment Insurance Benefits (UIB), the state can deduct money for current and/or past due child support.
  • Tax refund intercept. If a parent is behind on child support, New York can intercept the state and/or federal income tax refund check.
  • Credit score. Child support delinquencies can show up on a parent’s credit report, lowering the person’s credit score.
  • Driver’s license. New York can suspend a person’s driver’s license for unpaid child support.
  • Seize property. The court or state can seize the parent’s bank accounts or other financial assets for past due child support.
  • Lottery. If a person who is delinquent on child support wins the New York State lottery, the state will take the past due child support from the winnings.
  • Taxes. The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance can use certain tax collection methods to collect past due child support.
  • Liens. If the noncustodial parent owns real estate or is going to receive money for a personal injury claim, you can put a lien against those items for the amount of the past due support.
  • Passport. The U.S. State Department cooperates with the New York Division of Child Support Enforcement so that parents who are significantly behind on their child support obligation might not be able to get a passport or renew their existing one.

Having the help of an experienced New York child support lawyer can make compelling your ex to pay child support more manageable. Schedule a consult with one of our New York child custody and support lawyers to see what your options are.


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