Family Court Act, Article 4, Support Proceedings Part 5, § 458-A: Enforcement of arrears; suspension of driving privileges

If you are seeking child support from your child's non-custodial parent, you must petition Family Court for a support order. The process starts with you submitting a child support petition seeking an order requiring the non-custodial parent, the respondent, to pay child support. Once you submit your petition and serve a summons to the respondent, a hearing will be held. If at the conclusion of the hearing the court signs an order requiring the respondent to pay child support, the respondent must do so. If the respondent fails to make payments as required by the order, the respondent will be in violation of the court order. Violating a court order to pay child support is quite serious. There are several steps that the court has the authority to take to enforce the support order, including suspending driving privileges licenses. According to Family Court Act, Article 4, § 458-A, if a respondents is at 4 months or more behind in child support payments, the court has the options of suspending the respondent's driving privileges.

Example

Willie B.'s received notices that his driving privileges were going to be suspended based on his falling behind in his child support payments. On March 29, 2000 Willie was directed to pay support in the amount of $500 biweekly. Payments were to be paid to the New York City Support Collection Unit through income execution. As of August 11, 2004 Willie should have paid $55,652, but had actually paid $34,625.65, leaving an arrears of #21,026.35. Willie objected to the suspension of his driving privileges. The court agreed. According to Social Services Law § 111-b (12) (b) (3):

"Notwithstanding the requirements of this subdivision, no notice shall be issued by the department [of social services] pursuant to subparagraph one of this paragraph to a support obligor from whom support payments are being received by the support collection unit as a result of an income execution or an income deduction order issued pursuant to § five thousand two hundred forty-one or five thousand two hundred forty-two of the civil practice law and rules."

Thus, because an income execution was in place, it was not proper for Willie's driving privileges to be suspended based on falling behind in child support payments. In the Matter of Karen B. v. Willie B., 2004 NY Slip Op 24344 (NY, 2004)

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Powers of the court on violation of a support order: New York Family Court Act, Article 4, Support Proceedings, Part 5, § 454
  2. Probation: New York Family Court Act, Article 4, Support Proceedings, Part 5, § 456
  3. Order of sequestration on failure to obey support order: New York Family Court Act, Article 4, Support Proceedings, Part 5, § 457
  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, § 458-A: Enforcement of arrears; suspension of driving privileges
  1. If the respondent has accumulated support arrears equivalent to or greater than the amount of support due pursuant to court order for a period of four months, the court may order the department of motor vehicles to suspend the respondent's driving privileges, and if such order issues, the respondent may apply to the department of motor vehicles for a restricted use license pursuant to § five hundred thirty of the vehicle and traffic law. The court may at any time upon payment of arrears or partial payment of arrears by the respondent order the department of motor vehicles to terminate the suspension of respondent's driving privileges. For purposes of determining whether a support obligor has accumulated support arrears equivalent to or greater than the amount of support due for a period of four months, the amount of any retroactive support, other than periodic payments of retroactive support which are past due, shall not be included in the calculation of support arrears pursuant to this §. (b) If the respondent, after receiving appropriate notice, fails to comply with a summons, subpoena or warrant relating to a paternity or child support proceeding, the court may order the department of motor vehicles to suspend the respondent's driving privileges. The court may subsequently order the department of motor vehicles to terminate the suspension of the respondent's driving privileges; however, the court shall order the termination of such suspension when the court is satisfied that the respondent has fully complied with the requirements of all summonses, subpoenas and warrants relating to a paternity or child support proceeding. Nothing in this subdivision shall authorize the court to terminate the respondent's suspension of driving privileges except as provided in this subdivision. (c) The provisions of subdivision (a) of this § shall not apply to: (i) respondents who are receiving public assistance or supplemental security income; or (ii) respondents whose income as defined by subparagraph five of paragraph (b) of subdivision one of § four hundred thirteen of this act falls below the self-support reserve as defined by subparagraph six of paragraph (b) of subdivision one of § four hundred thirteen of this act; or (iii) respondents whose income as defined by subparagraph five of paragraph (b) of subdivision one of § four hundred thirteen of this act remaining after the payment of the current support obligation would fall below the self-support reserve as defined by subparagraph six of paragraph (b) of subdivision one of § four hundred thirteen of this act. (d) The court's discretionary decision not to suspend driving privileges shall not have any res judicata effect or preclude any other agency with statutory authority to direct the department of motor vehicles to suspend driving privileges.
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 fishing or hunting license suspended, 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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