When a person violates a child support order in New York, judges are empowered to make use of any of the means authorized by Family Court Act section 454(2) to collect what is due and owing from the nonpaying parent. The options available to judges to deal with parents who refuse to meet their support obligations toward their children range from entry of a money judgment for the amount of the arrears to sending the nonpaying parent to jail for six months.

One of the powers granted to courts to collect unpaid child support is the sequestration of the personal property of the parent owing the money. A sequestration order directs a sheriff or other designated government official to seize the defaulting individual’s property and sell it in order to eliminate or reduce the amount of the arrears.

Other action that actions that courts may take include:

  • Suspension of any professional or business licenses held by the parent
  • Suspension of the parent’s license to drive
  • Ordering that the parent be placed on probation
  • Ordering the nonpaying parent to pay the legal fees incurred by the other parent or government agency bringing the court proceeding
  • Compelling the parent to participate in a rehabilitation or work program

The motivation behind the powers courts have under the Family Court Act is to facilitate the collection of child support from a parent who failed to fulfill his or her obligations. For example, the provision for participation in a rehabilitation and work program could include employment counselling and job training to assist the nonpaying parent to qualify for and find gainful employment.

Rehabilitation programs are not limited to those focusing on job skills and assistance in securing a position. When appropriate, judges may also order a parent who is in default in paying child support to undergo alcohol and substance abuse evaluation and, if recommended, treatment in nonresidential treatment program.

The powers granted to judges in New York are in keeping with the state’s emphasis on enforcement of the obligation of both parents to support their children.

If you are not paid the child support you are owed, taking care of your child can undoubtedly be financially difficult. In such a situation, it is advisable to hire an attorney to help recoup what is owed to you. Jayson Lutzky is Bronx, New York attorney. He handles many divorce and family law cases and regularly deals with child support guidelines and arrangements.  Mr. Lutzky offers free in person consultations. Call 718-514-6619 to schedule your consultation. Visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com to learn more about the lawyer.