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What happens if your ex refuses to pay child support?

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2024 | Family Law

Child support is crucial for the well-being and development of children after parents separate. It ensures that both parents contribute financially to their child’s needs, covering essentials like food, shelter, education, and healthcare.

Penalties for non-payment of child support

When your ex refuses to pay child support in New York, the Child Support Enforcement Unit (CSEU) can take direct action to collect unpaid support, including:

  • Wage garnishment: They can issue an income withholding order to the non-paying parent’s employer, ensuring that child support payments come directly from their paycheck.
  • Tax refund interception: They can intercept federal and state tax refunds to cover overdue payments.
  • Asset seizure: The CSEU can seize assets, such as bank accounts and property, to satisfy the child support debt.
  • License suspension: They can suspend various licenses, including driver’s, professional, and recreational licenses.
  • Credit Reporting: Non-payment can be reported to credit bureaus, negatively impacting the non-paying parent’s credit score.
  • Passport denial: If arrears exceed a certain amount, your ex may face passport denial or revocation.
  • Contempt of court: Courts may find the non-paying parent in contempt, which can result in fines or even jail time.

These penalties ensure compliance, serve as strong deterrents against non-payment, and provide effective means to recover overdue support.

Proposing a payment plan

If your ex is behind on child support payments, they can contact the CSEU to discuss a payment plan. This plan can break down the total arrears into easy-to-manage monthly payments.  Another option is to seek mediation, which can be a less stressful way to resolve the issue.

Taking legal action

If your ex continues to refuse payment, you may want to seek legal professionals who can help you file a violation petition in Family Court. This petition states that your ex has not complied with the child support order, prompting the court to schedule a hearing.

At the hearing, the judge will review the evidence and may take further enforcement actions to compel payment. With proper legal guidance, you have a higher chance of receiving the support you deserve for your child’s stable and healthy upbringing.