Overdue Child Support? How to Collect It!

Overdue Child Support? How to Collect It!

man giving alimony to his ex-family

Many custodial parents who are having a difficult time collecting their overdue court-ordered child support payments are unaware of the options available to them. There are several ways that a custodial parent can collect overdue child support money in New York State. The Child Support Enforcement Bureau (“CSEB”) has the authority to collect overdue child support, also known as “arrears,” through various administrative procedures. These procedures can be put into action before having to go to court, but you must open an account with the CSEB to do so. The noncustodial parent is notified by the CSEB and given information about the procedure to be followed, how to comply with or challenge the action, and the consequences of failure to comply.

In addition to the administrative procedures, you can also petition the court for enforcement of the child support order. A judge may hold a parent in contempt of court for failing to pay child support, and that parent would then have to pay all of the overdue child support and may be subject to fines or possibly jail time.

More than one type of enforcement action may occur at the same time, depending on how much child support is owed or how long it has been overdue. It is important to consult an experienced family lawyer in order to understand the various methods available for collecting overdue child support. These methods include:

  • Income Execution: a process by which payments for current and/or overdue support are deducted from a noncustodial parent’s income by the employer or income payor.
  • Unemployment Insurance Benefits Intercept: a process by which the NYS Department of Labor automatically deducts current and/or overdue child support payments from a noncustodial parents’ unemployment insurance payments.
  • Income Tax Refund Intercept: a delinquent noncustodial parent’s Federal and/or State income tax refund can be intercepted in order to satisfy overdue child support payments.
  • Credit Bureau Submission: the names of delinquent noncustodial parents can be submitted to major consumer credit reporting agencies, making it difficult to obtain a loan or other forms of credit until the child support obligation is paid.
  • Lottery Intercept: NYS lottery winnings can be intercepted to pay overdue child support.
  • Property Execution: financial assets, such as bank accounts, can be seized in order to satisfy overdue child support payments.
  • Driver’s License Suspension: NYS driver’s license may be suspended for a noncustodial parent with overdue child support payments.
  • Passport Denial: delinquent noncustodial parents can be prevented from renewing or obtaining a passport until overdue child support payments are satisfied.
  • Liens: liens may be filed against the noncustodial parent’s real estate or personal injury claims or awards in order to satisfy overdue child support.
  • Tax Referrals: the names of delinquent noncustodial parents are sent to the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance, which can then apply specific tax collection remedies to collect the overdue child support.

There is now interstate enforcement and collection of child support laws that make it easier to obtain payment when parents live in different States. The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (“UIFSA”), which has been adopted in some form by every State, allows a State court to exercise jurisdiction over a noncustodial parent in a child support proceeding, even when that parent is not a resident of the State. This gives a New York State court the ability to obtain jurisdiction over a nonresident in a proceeding to enforce a child support order if one of the bases for jurisdiction laid out in UIFSA is satisfied. An experienced attorney can explain that procedure to you.

As an alternative to the CSEB administrative or court procedures, an experienced family law attorney can assist custodial parents with mediation, rather than pursuing the case inside of a courtroom. This is recommended for parents who maintain a civil relationship with their former partner. If a mediation process is not recommended or fails, the case can always be taken into the court system at that time. It is always wise to consult with a family law attorney for expert legal counsel to increase your chances for a successful outcome.

As you can see, parents seeking enforcement of overdue child support obligations can go through a local child support enforcement agency or through a privately retained attorney. Experienced attorneys can explain the many ways to get the child support that your child needs and deserves, as well as help you track any financial assets of the noncustodial parent, which can be used to pay that support. That process is often tricky and complicated and cannot be done by yourself.

Contact the attorneys at Fass & Greenberg anytime for more details on how to obtain those child support payments that you and your child are rightfully owed.

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