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Options for enforcing child support in New York

Obtaining a child support order during divorce proceedings may seem easy enough, but enforcing that order can be a whole other issue. While there are parents who will abide by child support orders, there are also those who, for one reason or another, fail to make payments. As custodial parents depend on these payments to care for their children, the state of New York has enforcement policies in place.

The Division of Child Support Enforcement was specifically created to ensure custodial parents are receiving the funds they need for basic needs of any covered children, such as housing, food and clothing. When a noncustodial parent falls behind on payments or simply fails to make payments from the onset of a child support order, a number of actions can be taken to retrieve the overdue funds. Some of these include:

  • Income tax refund intercept
  • Credit reporting
  • Holding personal assets
  • Driver's license suspension
  • Property liens

This list represents just a few ways overdue payments can be collected. For current or overdue payments, wage garnishment is also another option. Before any of these options can be utilized, the noncustodial parent must be notified in writing and given the opportunity to make payments.

As these funds are desperately needed to provide for children, help is available to ensure payments are made. Should any of the administrative actions listed above fail to result in child support payments being paid, other legal options may be appropriate. Custodial parents in New York are not alone in their fight to receive child support owed.

Source:, "Support Enforcement", Dec. 21, 2014

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