If you are a parent and are receiving no financial assistance, whether it’s court-ordered or through a mutual agreement, there are ways in which you can pursue your child’s father or mother. In New York, there are many opportunities to accomplish this. The Office of Child Support Enforcement offers some guidance, but a child support lawyer can also help.

Note that many of the processes are automated, meaning once it’s established, it becomes an automatic process each month through garnishments or other means. Here are a few ways of getting child support from a parent who is not paying:

Tax refunds are the most common way to offset back child support. If the non-custodial parent files his or her taxes and has a refund due, the IRS can send that refund to the Office of Child Support Enforcement. If there is at least $50 owed, it can be taken from that parent’s state refund. If it’s $500 or more than the parent owes, the federal refund can be used to repay the back support. If the custodial parent is receiving assistance, the minimum amount owed drops to $150.

Another way of getting child support from a parent who is not paying is through the lottery, assuming, of course, the parent wins the lottery. The minimum thresholds are at least $50 owed and at least $600 is won.

If the noncustodial parent’s paychecks are being garnished, the custodial parent can receive up to 50% more of the monthly amount to be used towards the arrears.

Other assets, including bank accounts, can be seized and used to pay child support debts. The formula for using this option is the amount owed must be equal to or greater than two months of the current obligation amount, plus $300. This does not include retroactive support.

Keep in mind that if the noncustodial parent’s wages are being garnished, this is not an option unless that same parent has more than $3,000 in the bank.

Other options include:

  • Suspending the errant parent’s driver’s license if the debts total four months
  • Reporting the errant parent’s debts to the credit bureaus if the amount is more than $1,000
  • Rescinding and denying passport requests
  • Rescinding and denying New York business licenses

Once these remedies have been exhausted with no success, a petition for judicial enforcement can be put into place. Noncustodial parents can have a money judgement in support of the custodial parent that accumulates 9% interest until the balance is paid. A lien can be placed against property owned by the noncustodial parent and if all else fails, an arrest warrant can be ordered, and the noncustodial parent can be placed in jail for up to six months if the court determines willful noncompliance.

Regardless of the reasons and no matter what you’ve tried in the past, if you need help securing financial support for your child from a noncustodial ex, contact our offices today to explore the legal avenues that are available to you. Caring for one’s child should come naturally to a parent. When that doesn’t happen, there are other options.

For more information, speak to our child support lawyers today.