Family Court Act, Article 4, Support Proceedings Part 5, § 454: Powers of the court on violation of a support order

New York Family Court is responsible for making determinations regarding support payments. The first step in making sure that the non-custodial parent of your child pays you child support is to go to petition Family Court for a child support order. Once you submit your petition and serve a summons along with the petition to person from whom you are seeking child support, also known as the respondent, there are several steps that the court has the authority to take to ensure that the respondent shows up in court for the child support hearing and complies with a support order. For example, if the respondent intentionally tried to avoid service of the summons to appear at the support hearing, the court may issue an arrest warrant, suspend the respondent's driving privileges, or seize the respondent's assets. Once a support order is in place, according to Family Court Act, Article 4, § 454, the court can enforce a child support order by deducting the payments from the respondent's paychecks.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Probation: New York Family Court Act, Article 4, Support Proceedings, Part 5, § 456
  2. Order of sequestration on failure to obey support order: New York Family Court Act, Article 4, Support Proceedings, Part 5, § 457
  3. Enforcement of arrears; suspension of driving privileges: New York Family Court Act, Article 4, Support Proceedings, Part 5, § 458-A
  4. Child support proceedings and enforcement of arrears; suspension: New York Family Court Act, Article 4, Support Proceedings, Part 5, § 458-B
  5. Child support proceedings and enforcement of arrears; suspension of recreational licenses: New York Family Court Act, Article 4, Support Proceedings, Part 5, § 458-C
Family Court Act, Article 4, Support Proceedings, Part 5, § 454: Powers of the court on violation of a support order
  1. If a respondent is brought before the court for failure to obey any lawful order of support and if, after hearing, the court is satisfied by competent proof that the respondent has failed to obey any such order, the court may use any or all of the powers conferred upon it by this part. The court has the power to use any or all enforcement powers in every proceeding brought for violation of a court order under this part regardless of the relief requested in the petition.
  2. Upon a finding that a respondent has failed to comply with any lawful order of support:
    1. the court shall enter a money judgment under § four hundred sixty of this article; and
    2. the court may make an income deduction order for support enforcement under § fifty-two hundred forty-two of the civil practice law and rules;
    3. the court may require the respondent to post an undertaking under § four hundred seventy-one of this article;
    4. the court may make an order of sequestration under § four hundred fifty-seven of this article.
    5. the court may suspend the respondent's driving privileges pursuant to § four hundred fifty-eight-a of this article.
    6. the court may suspend the respondent's state professional or business license pursuant to § four hundred fifty-eight-b of this article;
    7. the court may suspend the recreational license or licenses of the respondent pursuant to § four hundred fifty-eight-c of this article.
    8. the court may require the respondent, if the persons for whom the respondent has failed to pay support are applicants for or recipients of public assistance, to participate in work activities as defined in title nine-B of article five of the social services law. Those respondents ordered to participate in work activities need not be applicants for or recipients of public assistance.
  3. Upon a finding by the court that a respondent has willfully failed to obey any lawful order of support, the court shall order respondent to pay counsel fees to the attorney representing petitioner pursuant to § four hundred thirty-eight of this act and may in addition to or in lieu of any or all of the powers conferred in subdivision two of this § or any other § of law:
    1. commit the respondent to jail for a term not to exceed six months. For purposes of this subdivision, failure to pay support, as ordered, shall constitute prima facie evidence of a willful violation. Such commitment may be served upon certain specified days or parts of days as the court may direct, and the court may, at any time within the term of such sentence, revoke such suspension and commit the respondent for the remainder of the original sentence, or suspend the remainder of such sentence. Such commitment does not prevent the court from subsequently committing the respondent for failure thereafter to comply with any such order; or
    2. require the respondent to participate in a rehabilitative program if the court determines that such participation would assist the respondent in complying with such order of support and access to such a program is available. Such rehabilitative programs shall include, but not be limited to, work preparation and skill programs, non-residential alcohol and substance abuse programs and educational programs; or
    3. place the respondent on probation under such conditions as the court may determine and in accordance with the provisions of the criminal procedure law.
  4. The court shall not deny any request for relief pursuant to this § unless the facts and circumstances constituting the reasons for its determination are set forth in a written memorandum of decision.
New York Child Support Lawyer

The consequences of failing to pay child support are serious. If you get behind on your child support payments you risk losing your driving privileges, having your property seized, or being arrested. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully representing clients in New York Family Court in matters related to child support enforcement, child support reduction, and other types of issues related to support. Contact us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your child support case. We serve those involved in child support matters in the following locations:

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