By: Alexandra Mulé
In New York, both parents are expected to provide child support for the care of their children. Child support is centered on the notion that the lifestyle of the children is not to change just because their parents decided to divorce or separate. A parent who has missed child support payments is considered to be in arrears by the Child Support Collections Unit.
In the event child support payments fall behind, the enforcement process begins which may require a Court hearing on the matter. If payments fall behind, the order may be temporarily increased by up to 50% above the court-ordered amount until the arrears are paid off. As a result of the accumulated arrears, if the noncustodial parent is expecting a federal or state income tax refund it may instead be sent to the Collections Unit to reduce the amount owed if at least $50 is owed. The non-custodial parent may also have their drivers license suspended if the amount owed is equal or greater than four months of the current obligation amount. New York has a reputation for holding parents accountable to supporting their children, and the last thing a noncustodial parent wants to do is find themselves in arrears.