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.
Eligibility for COVID-19 Financial Relief
Payments made under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act are subject to interception for child support payments. A parent whose check is intercepted will receive a notice via the federal government, advising that the payment has been applied to outstanding child support debts. Whether a payment will be intercepted depends on certain factors, such as whether the obligor parent received notice in September 2019 that he or she might be certified for the federal tax refund offset program, and failed to challenge the certification or pay past-due amounts.
Confer with a Knowledgeable Family Law Attorney
Parents have an obligation to provide financial support for their children within their means, regardless of the circumstances. If your co-parent is late in making child support payments or if you lost your income due to COVID-19, you should confer trusted New York child support attorney regarding your right to seek enforcement or modification of an existing child support order. Ksenia Rudyuk is a knowledgeable attorney who can guide you through the process of obtaining the support you are owed, and she will work tirelessly to help you protect your rights. You can contact Ms. Rudyuk at 212-706-2001 or via the form online to set up a telephone conference.