Failure To Pay Child Support

Failure To Pay Child Support in New York

Individuals who don’t pay their child support obligations may find themselves in circumstances of panic or anxiety when they receive notice that their failure to pay child support could cost them their ability to lawfully drive in New York and all other states (once suspended in your home state, all other states are supposed to cross-honor the suspension).

New York Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) Section 510 sets forth the law regarding a suspended license due to failure to pay child support. 

New York VTL 510

Suspension and disqualification for failure to make child Support payments or failure to comply with a summons, subpoena or warrant relating to a paternity or child support proceeding. (1) The commissioner, on behalf of the department, shall enter into a written agreement with the commissioner of the office of temporary and disability assistance, on behalf of the office of temporary and disability assistance, which shall set forth the procedures for suspending the driving privileges of individuals who have failed to make payments of child support or combined child and spousal support…”

Under the law, the Department of Social Services must notify the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles of people who fail to pay their child support obligations or spousal support responsibilities. Normally, under New York’s State law, if an individual fails to pay child support for more then 4 months, that person’s drivers’ license can be suspended.

While individuals who receive notice of a pending driving suspension due to failure to pay child support can attempt to obtain a restricted license (which permits such things as driving to and from work) or a hardship exemption, these kinds of licenses can severely restrict your freedom. Imagine not being able to go out to the movies, or for dinner with friends, on a road trip, or even to run to the drug store a few minutes away to pick up some milk?

An experienced New York lawyer may be able to stop the driver’s license suspension from going into effect altogether or help you get a license that has already been suspended for failure to pay child support by dealing with both the Department of Social Services and the Department of Motor Vehicles. Trying to work with two massive beaurocracies is not for the faint of heart but an experienced attorney who knows the ropes might really be able to make it happen so you can drive freely and without driver’s license restriction.