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How does New York enforce child support obligations?

All states have laws governing how noncustodial parents must handle their child support obligations, and New York is no exception. Because child custody and support are important issues, no divorce in the state is final until negotiations regarding these matters are complete.

If you disagree with the final decision about child support, it is never wise to disobey or ignore the court's ruling. In fact, violating a court order involving child custody or support could result in severe penalties.

The state has many options to choose from when attempting to collect child support, each of them with consequences best avoided. It does not matter why you are not paying child support. The state will still do everything it can to collect. Below you will find a brief list of just a few of these collection methods.

  • Interception of your tax returns
  • Seizure of your bank accounts and other assets
  • Interception of cash prizes won in a lottery
  • Suspension of business and professional licenses
  • Suspension of your driver's license
  • Incarceration, especially if you fail to attend scheduled court proceedings

Making matters worse, the state can increase your child support obligation amount by up to 50% until you resolve the support debt. A court can also order you to make a sizeable cash deposit that will be used to cover future child support.

If you are behind on your child support obligations because you are experiencing financial hardship, you may find relief by petitioning the court for a change in its orders. A family law attorney can help you with this petition.

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