The Teeth in Child Support
Prosecutors called Robert Sand the government’s most wanted deadbeat parent until he finally pleaded guilty in February to failing to pay child support. Sand, who stopped paying child support in 2002 and eventually fled the country, owed $1.2 million in child support to his children from two previous marriages.
Some might argue that Sand’s case shows that it is possible to avoid paying child support obligations for extended periods of time. However, most people are unwilling to live on the run as an international fugitive for over a decade just to avoid paying child support. For the overwhelming majority of parents who are owed child support, the law affords numerous options to go after the non-paying parent’s assets, which we have discussed in a previous post.
The law also provides various avenues to force dead-beat parents to pay.
If a parent fails to pay child support for four months, or fail to respond to a summons, subpoena or warrant related to the child support, the court, in some instances, may:
- Order the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to suspend that parent's drivers license
- Order the appropriate agencies to suspend the offending parent's professional license
- Order the appropriate agencies to suspend any recreational license that the recalcitrant parent holds in the state
If these efforts prove insufficient, the parent with custody of the children can ask the court to hold the non-paying parent in contempt of court, which can lead to additional fines or even jail time.
Though there will always be a few Robert Sands in the world who live their lives on the lam to avoid supporting their children, New York has the means to enforce child support payments.
If you are not receiving child support payments, or are having difficulty making child support payments, get legal representation to protect your rights in this serious matter. Contact a NY divorce lawyer at our office for a consultation with an experienced divorce attorney to see how we can help.