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What Happens if Your Ex-Spouse Doesn't Pay Child Support? October 8, 2019

Rochester, Monroe
What Happens if Your Ex-Spouse Doesn't Pay Child Support? , Rochester, New York

Under New York family law, the divorced parent who does not live with their minor children is considered the “non-custodial” parent. The parent the children do live with is the "custodial parent”. In “shared” situations, the parent earning more money is considered the “non-custodial” parent. Non-custodial parents must pay child support to custodial parents for their children’s care. Here’s what you should know if your former spouse is not making the necessary payments.

How New York Family Law Applies to Parents Who Refuse to Pay Child Support

How Is Child Support Calculated?

Courts use the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) to calculate child support payments, which os generally required until a child turns 21 or is “emancipated”, which generally means seld-supporting and living outside the home. Non-custodial parents pay a percentage of their gross income. A non-custodial parent typically pays 17% for one child, 25% for two children, and 29% for three. If you have four children, the required payment is typically 31%, and it is at least 35% if you have five or more kids. It cannot be more than 65% of your take home, if you are in arrears. The parties can deviate in a written agreement, but only for specific reasons with Court approval.


How Do You Enforce Child Support?

family lawIf you have a Court Order for child support that requires direct payments, or one that goes through your county’s Support Collection Unit (SCU), and you are not receiving support, the SCU  can help you collect it. The SCU Helpline and Customer Services number is (212) 226-7125 or call (212) 226-7652 if you are hearing-impaired. Another alternative is to return to court, seek an Order for contempt against the parent who is not paying, as well as attorney’s fees and a Judgment for arrears.


What Are the Penalties for Refusing to Pay?

If your ex-spouse or significant other doesn’t pay child support as ordered, family law provisions can lead to possible jail time for contempt. Your ex might also have their driver’s or professional license suspended, including a license to practice medicine or law. Their bank accounts can be garnished or frozen, lottery winnings and tax refunds can be seized, and their credit rating will suffer. You should consult with an attorney regarding enforcement options.


Custodial parents have collection options when their ex-spouses or significant others are not paying child support, so contact Thomas A. Corletta, Attorney at Law in Rochester, NY for legal advice and advocacy. This skilled and compassionate family law attorney offers each client individualized attention and over 35 years of experience in divorce law, including child support cases. Visit his website to learn more about his services and call (585) 546-5072 to schedule a confidential consultation

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