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A brief guide to child support arrears in New York State

New York State, much like other parts of the country, has its own set of laws concerning child support arrears. Those who owe back child support and reside in the state may want to learn about these rules and how they might affect one’s finances.

The National Conference of State Legislators notes that New York is one of 34 states that charges interest on unpaid child support and those who owe can use the following brief guideline to understand how the state calculates the rate of interest for these charges, along with any other penalties they may incur if their payments continue to fall behind.

New York State interest rates

New York is only one of three states that charge 9% per year on back child support. This is the third-highest rate for states with fixed rates, as some other states calculate arrears based on certain market conditions.

Court judgments

While New York State charges a fixed amount for arrears per year, a judge may calculate what an individual owes and place a specific dollar value on that amount. This may benefit some, as the judge may reduce the overall amount.


Individuals who owe back child support and cannot pay due to unemployment or other hardships must return to the court where the original judgment took place and ask for a reduction in payments or other action that may him or her catch up on arrears. Those who do so may want to remember that courts may limit exceptions or modifications on a case-by-case basis.

New York state residents who owe back child support may want to contact their local court to ensure they follow all necessary guidelines and complete all pertinent forms before they appear before a judge.