What are the consequences of not paying your child support?
Depending on your family circumstances, the court may order you to pay monthly child support to your child’s custodial parent. Because these payments are meant for the care of your child, you likely want nothing more than to fulfill this obligation. Due to the loss of your job, an extended illness or injury or other such factors, however, you might struggle to make your court-ordered payments.
Understanding the enforcement actions that the state has available can help you protect your rights.
The New York State Division of Child Support Enforcement may deduct your current child support payments from your wages or unemployment insurance benefits. The division can also use these methods to recover child support arrears. The state can also seize financial assets, state lottery winnings and state and federal income tax refunds to satisfy past-due child support.
Driver’s license suspension
If you fall behind on your child support payments, the state could take action to have your driver’s license suspended. As such, you will lose your driving privileges until you catch up on your arrears or reach an alternative arrangement. Working with the U.S. State Department, the division may also prevent you from getting or renewing a passport.
Real property liens
To collect owed amounts, the Division of Child Support Enforcement can file liens against certain assets or property. The division may file a lien on personal injury claims or awards you currently receive. It might also place a lien on real estate property you own, which will affect your ability to sell, transfer or otherwise make transactions using that property until you have resolved your arrears.
Falling behind on your child support obligations can create difficulties for you, as well as for your child and his or her other parent. However, options exist that may help you fulfill your parental and court-ordered responsibilities.