Enforcement of Spousal and Child Support

What can I do if my spouse will not pay child maintenance or support?
You can bring a proceeding in the Supreme Court of the State of New York or the Family Court of the State of New York for a support order. If your divorce judgment, settlement agreement, or separation agreement includes a directive that your spouse must pay child support or maintenance, then for your legal rights to be enforced, you are entitled to get a proceeding for enforcement in Family Court or in the Supreme Court of the State of New York. In this case either the Family Court or the Supreme Court can award you a monetary judgment, including directing your spouse to give some sort of security towards future monetary payments, appointing a receiver of your spouse’s property, or hold your spouse in contempt of court.

You also have the right to bring a suit against your spouse on the basis that he or she breached your separation agreement or settlement agreement. In this case, if the amount in question in less than three thousand dollars, the Small Claims Court can hear your breach of contract suit. An “Income Execution for Support Enforcement” can also be obtained from your divorce attorney, the collection unit for child support of the Family Court of the State of New York, or the Family Court Clerk. The Supreme Court or the Family Court can also supply you with an “Income Deduction Order”.

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Can I obtain Child Support Enforcement services?
Anyone can request "child support enforcement services". If you are not a recipient of aid to dependent children, then according to the New York Social Services Law, you entitled to apply for and receive these services. To apply, you must either complete and sign the prescribed form of the New York Department of Social Services, or file a petition NY Family Court. You can also apply with the Family Court to establish paternity and/or to enforce an obligation of support, which can include an application, signed, for support services for a child or children.

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What happens when I request Child Support Enforcement services?
When services for the enforcement of child support enforce an order demanding support be given, then the New York Family Court directs the offending spouse to make payment of child support directly to the New York Child Support Enforcement Unit. They in turn will right away direct a child support income execution, or they may order a combined child support and maintenance directive. Additionally, they may demand an execution for the enforcement of medical support based on the support order provisions. There is an exception for children or a child who is not the recipient of public aid or assistance if the parents produce a signed agreement showing provisions for alternative support arrangements.

If your spouse is not living up to his or her obligation of spousal or child support or maintenance, New York divorce lawyer and family law attorney Ingrid Gherman can provide you will assistance to obtain an enforcement of that obligation. Ingrid’s has over three decades of experience in this field combined with a deep commitment to the needs of her clients. To set up a consultation with Ingrid call (212) 941-0767 or submit the on-line form.

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For More Information on Child Support Enforcement