Child Support Enforcement in New York

by ECL Writer
Child Support Enforcement in New York

Child support is a legal obligation that a non-custodial parent must fulfill to provide financial assistance for the care and upbringing of their child. In New York State, the Child Support Enforcement Unit (CSEU) is responsible for enforcing child support orders and ensuring that non-custodial parents meet their financial obligations to their children. Child support enforcement in New York involves a variety of methods, including wage garnishment, bank account seizure, and driver’s license suspension. This article will provide an overview of child support enforcement in New York, including the legal framework, enforcement methods, and the consequences of non-payment. It will also discuss the options available to non-custodial parents who are having difficulty making child support payments, including modification of the child support order or seeking assistance from the CSEU.

Child Support Obligations

Child support is often paid by one parent (the noncustodial parent) to the other parent (the custodial parent) on behalf of the children. The parent who is obligated to pay child support must do so for as long as the child support order is in effect or until the kid reaches the age of majority once it has been set by a judge or child support agency. In New York, a parent’s ability to pay child support is heavily influenced by their own income. See New York Child Support Law for more details

New York’s Division of Child Support Enforcement

You can apply for child support online with the New York Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) if you don’t already have a court order in place. A $25 service fee may be assessed if you use DCSE to collect child support unless you are eligible for a cost waiver. The following services are also offered by DCSE:

  • establishment of paternity
  • wage withholding for child support
  • location services to find obligor parents, and
  • enforcement of child support orders.

New York Child Support Enforcement

The noncustodial parent (parent needed to pay child support) must abide by the child support order by paying the proper amount of child support to the custodial parent once it has been established by a judge or through New York’s DCSE. If the obligor parent refuses to comply with the child support order by paying less than the appropriate amount of child support, they may be held in contempt of court and subject to harsh fines or even jail time.

An unpaid parent who is entitled to child support may file a child support action on their own or with the aid of a private attorney. DCSE can assist you in carrying out your child support obligation, but they won’t hire a counsel for you or file a lawsuit on your behalf. Alternatively, DCSE could assist you in getting the child support you’re owed by taking money out of the other parent’s paycheck or bank account.

A court can penalize the non-paying parent in ways that DCSE cannot, and has more power to enforce child support. You have two options if you wish to pursue a child support enforcement action in court: either you hire a private attorney who will file the necessary paperwork and appear in court on your behalf, or you file the paperwork yourself. This page contains the forms required to pursue a child support enforcement action, commonly known as an Order to Show Cause.

The court will schedule a hearing on your Order to Show Cause once you have submitted the appropriate documentation and appropriately shared it with the other parent. Contact a local family law attorney for guidance if you have any additional concerns about the paperwork you should file or how to get ready for your child support enforcement hearing.

What Happens to the Parent Who Refuses to Pay Support In New York?

A New York parent who refuses to pay child support may be subject to one or more of the following:

  • garnishment of wages and/or income
  • seizure of real and personal property, including a car or home
  • lien on business or home for child support owing
  • loss of occupational or professional license
  • loss of driver’s license and passport
  • interception of tax refunds
  • an order that he or she must pay the other parent’s attorney’s fees, and
  • a negative credit report.

If a delinquent parent doesn’t pay support, the court may find them in contempt. A judge’s declaration that a parent has defied a court order is essentially what constitutes contempt. Any unpaid child support must be paid, and the non-paying parent may also face fines and perhaps jail time.

Resources For Child Support In New York

If you have additional questions about how to enforce a child support order in New York, contact an experienced family law attorney for assistance.

For more information on the enforcement of child support orders in New York and to read the relevant child support statute, see New York Code Domestic Law, Section 240.

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