The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant financial losses for many people. Thus, many parents who owe child support are late on making payments, and consequently, many parents who rely on child support are not receiving the payments they are owed. As many of the courts throughout the State are closed for new filings except for emergencies, parents seeking enforcement of child support orders and agreements are uncertain of their options. Fortunately, despite the pandemic, there are measures parents who are owed support can take to seek any payments that are in arrears. If you are a resident of New York and have concerns regarding late child support payments, it is in your best interest to consult an experienced New York child support attorney regarding your rights.
Enforcement of Child Support Orders During the Covid-19 Pandemic
Parents who are owed child support should continue to receive payments during the pandemic, as all payments received are still being processed. Thus, any payments made should be disbursed as usual. If a noncustodial parent can no longer afford to make payments due to a loss of income, he or she can seek a modification. Absent a modification, however, a parent obligated to pay child support pursuant to a court order must pay the full amount owed, on the date, it is owed, despite the pandemic.
Parents who fail to make timely payments in full may be subject to enforcement actions, such as the suspension of driver’s or professional licenses, interception of State and federal tax refunds, freezing of financial assets, and liens against real and personal property. Parents who fail to make child support payments may also be reported to credit bureaus. These actions are referred to as administrative penalties and are available without going to court. The action available in an individual case depends on the amount overdue and the length of the delay in making payments. Currently, the Child Support Offices in many areas throughout the State are closed, as are New York Family Courts for child support matters. Thus, parents who are owed support should seek assistance by contacting their local child support office or the State offices via telephone or email. Parents who are obligated to pay but cannot pay due to a loss of employment, also have options.