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New York Child Support Enforcement

It's tough being a divorced or otherwise single parent, not only because of the extra time commitment but also because of the sheer cost of raising a child. Ideally, the noncustodial parent pays what is owed each month for child support without incident. But that's not always the case and sometimes enforcement options, whether it's the intercept of unemployment insurance benefits or some other measure, must be considered.

In New York, the noncustodial parent is required to send their child support payments to the local Child Support Enforcement Unit's (CSEU) Support Collection Unit (SCU). If the noncustodial parent is late or past due with their payments, they will receive a notice explaining collection procedures, with a deadline for payment. If the administrative procedures for enforcing collection (listed in the table below) are unsuccessful, the custodial parent may file an action in family court with the help of an attorney.

New York Child Support Enforcement: The Basics

When you're simply trying to buy your child a new pair of winter boots or pay pre-school tuition, the last thing you want to do is translate the "legalese" of a statute. Fortunately, we've pulled out the pertinent facts about child support enforcement in New York and shared them in plain English below.


New York Consolidated Laws FCT § 458-b

Procedures for Collecting Current or Overdue Support

Income Execution - Notice is sent to noncustodial parent's employer, requesting that owed funds be deducted from their paycheck and sent to SCU (this is not wage garnishment, which requires a court order).

Unemployment Insurance Benefits Intercept - Current and/or overdue child support payments are automatically deducted from unemployment payments.

Procedures for Collecting Overdue (Delinquent) Support

Credit Bureau Submission - Name of delinquent noncustodial parent is sent to consumer credit reporting agencies such as Experian, hurting their creditworthiness until overdue support is paid.

Lottery Intercept - Any New York State lottery winnings may be intercepted.

Property Execution - Bank accounts and other financial assets may be seized.

Driver's License Suspension

Denial of Passport - CSEU works with the U.S. State Dept. to prevent delinquent noncustodial parents from obtaining or renewing a passport.

Liens - Liens may be filed against real estate assets, personal injury awards, or other such assets.

Tax Referrals - Name of delinquent noncustodial parent is sent to the New York State Dept. of Taxation and Finance, which can collect overdue payments using tax remedies.

Revocation of Licenses (business, occupational, professional, recreational) - If arrears (past due amount) are equal to or greater than 4-months' worth of child support payments (30-day notice to comply).

Enforcing Payment of Health Insurance Coverage

If the court orders the noncustodial parent to provide health insurance coverage for their child(ren), a National Medical Support Notice is sent to their employer requiring them to obtain the necessary coverage (payable by the employee).

Individuals Exempt From Professional License Revocation for Nonpayment of Child Support

  1. Those receiving public assistance or supplemental security income; or
  2. Those whose income falls below the self-support reserve amount; or
  3. Those whose income remaining after payment of current support obligations would fall below the self-support reserve amount.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law

New York Child Support Enforcement: Related Resources

Having Trouble Collecting Child Support? An Attorney Can Help

Child support is meant to help a custodial parent cover the expenses of raising a child, which can add up quickly. When a non-custodial parent fails to pay, is late, or takes drastic measures to evade their responsibility their child, it's a good idea to seek legal help. An experienced New York family law attorney can help you with child support enforcement.

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