Vero Beach, FL asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for New York

Q: How do you get the remaining amount of child support owed per court order that the SCU will not take out of check?

Uward Modification granted. I have a court order for child support stating that the non custodial parents child support obligation is "X" bi weekly and is to be paid through support collections unit. The court order was signed back in November of 2023 and retro active to the date or filing which was November of 2022. It is now February of 2024 and I am still receiving the "old" amount of child support. I recently spoke with the SCU and they told me they are only allowed to take a certain amount from the non custodial parents pay check. I do not understand how or why that is possible. The magistrate signed this new order & we both presented our most recent W2's and pay checks as requested from the family court. If he wasn't financially able to pay it, the magistrate never would have raised it up that much. I need to know how I go about receiving the balance of what is owed per the court order. I spoke to an attorney & he said he can file a petition for enforcement. Is this the only way?

2 Lawyer Answers
David P. Badanes
David P. Badanes
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Northport, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: It is correct that SCU can only take a portion of the payor's income to pay for child support.

However, the Order should have also stated that the non-custodial parent must pay the balance via direct deposit or checks. So the attorney you spoke to is generally correct, you can file a petition for enforcement or for contempt.

Peter Christopher Lomtevas
Peter Christopher Lomtevas pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Schenectady, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: We here cannot second guess another lawyer's advice. If the asker was told by another lawyer that an enforcement petition was the way to catch up with payments under a new order, then that is the advice the asker got and should go with.

We here have no idea of the operative facts in the asker's case. She does not even reveal the amount of the latest payments due under the order of support. Our hands are tied as to what to say.

As a general educational point, we can say that relying on government to solve family problems is the absolute worst approach. Child support payments and their enforcement are a cockamamie scheme to squelch protests that welfare mothers are driving Cadillacs. It's a shaky scheme because government involved a "court" that requires "lawyers" for a young mother to get "x" for her child. A far less expensive method is to return to the former welfare system to help the young mother defray her expenses with taxpayer funded payments. Even in the former Soviet Union, daycare was totally free of charge for moms to go to work while in the modern U.S., there is no such system.

As for this asker's question, she may face one of two possibilities: the first is that arrearages will build up to noncollectable levels which will force the father to keep paying for decades although in meager amounts; and second, is that the father will eventually learn how to flip the custody of the child and force the asker to him child support.

No matter what, the asker must have a lawyer on retainer and share all information with that lawyer. Having a child in the U.S. is not unlike having a job that requires one to hire a professional to prepare tax filings. A divorce will require a lawyers skills. Even dying in the U.S. requires a lawyer to help distribute one's estate. A nation of laws requires a nation of lawyers.

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