Family Court Act, Article 4, Support Proceedings Part 5, § 458-B: Child support proceedings and enforcement of arrears; suspension of occupational and business licenses

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-B, if a respondents is at 4 months or more behind in child support payments, the court has the options of suspending the respondent's state issued professional license. However, if such a suspension would cause the respondent hardship, the court has the discretion to delay such a suspension for up to a year.

Example

David Wills appealed from an order of the Monroe County Family Court adjudging that he willfully violated an order of spousal support and an order of child support. As a result he was sentenced to a 6-month jail term and his CPA license was suspended. Wills argued that the court erred in conducting the hearing on violating the support order in his absence, even though his counsel was present. The court disagree, noting that the summons warned that failure to appear at the hearing might result in consequences such as jail. In addition, the court noted that even though Wills was not present he received effective assistance of counsel in his absence at the violation hearing. In the Matter of Monroe County Support Collection Unit v. Wills, 19 A.D.3d 1019 (N.Y. App. Div., 2005)

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. Enforcement of arrears; suspension of driving privileges: New York Family Court Act, Article 4, Support Proceedings, Part 5, § 458-A
  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-B: Child support proceedings and enforcement of arrears; suspension of state professional, occupational and business licenses
  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 and the court has determined that the respondent is licensed, permitted or registered by or with a board, department, authority or office of this state to conduct a trade, business, profession or occupation, the court may order such board, department, authority or office to commence proceedings as required by law regarding the suspension of such license, permit, registration or authority to practice and to inform the court of the actions it has taken pursuant to such proceedings. For purposes of determining whether a respondent 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 §.
  2. If the respondent after receiving appropriate notice, fails to comply with a summons, subpoena or warrant relating to a paternity or child support proceeding, and the court has determined that the respondent is licensed, permitted or registered by or with a board, department, authority or office of this state or one of its political subdivisions or instrumentalities to conduct a trade, business, profession or occupation, the court may order such board, department, authority or office to commence proceedings as required by law regarding the suspension of such license, permit, registration or authority to practice and to inform the court of the actions it has taken pursuant to such proceeding. The court may subsequently order such board, department, authority or office to terminate the suspension of the respondent's license, permit, registration or authority to practice; 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.
  3. If the court determines that the suspension of the license, permit or registration of the respondent would create an extreme hardship to either the licensee, permittee or registrant or to persons whom he or she serves, the court may, in lieu of suspension, suspend the order described in subdivision (a) of this § to the licensing entity for a period not to exceed one year. If on or before the expiration of this period the court has not received competent proof presented at hearing that the respondent is in full compliance with his or her support obligation and has fully complied with all summons, subpoenas and warrants relating to a paternity or child support proceeding, the court shall cause the suspension of the order to be removed and shall further cause such order to be served upon the licensing entity.
  4. 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.
  5. The court shall inform the respondent that competent proof for purposes of proving payment to a licensing entity shall be a certified check, notice issued by the court, or notice from a support collection unit where the order is for payment to the support collection unit.
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 state-issued professional license, 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:

CONTACT US FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529)