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When do mothers have to pay child support in New York?

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2024 | Child Support

As society continues to make strides toward gender equality, many women have seen their earning capacity increase. In fact, a 2023 Pew Research Center study discovered that in 45% of marriages, women earn as much or more than their husbands.

This change also impacts child support after a divorce occurs. Couples should understand when a mother might be the one to pay child support to an ex-spouse.

When does a mother have to pay child support?

In New York, child support rules help ensure children receive financial support from both parents after a divorce or separation. This lasts until the child reaches 21 or when the child becomes a self-supporting adult. The court determines the amount of support by considering several factors, including each parent’s income and the child’s needs.

Typically, the noncustodial parent pays child support to the custodial parent. This means a mother who was the breadwinner may have to pay child support if primary physical custody goes to the co-parent, whether that is the father or the other mother in a same-sex divorce.

What happens if a mother refuses to pay child support?

If a mother in New York refuses to pay child support, she will likely face consequences. The custodial parent can file a petition with the court to enforce support payments. The court can then order the mother to pay the overdue support, possibly with added interest.

If the mother continues to refuse, the court has various enforcement options. These can include wage garnishment, where the state takes money directly from the mother’s paycheck, or the seizure of assets, including bank accounts or property. The court can even suspend the mother’s driver’s license or professional license until she meets her child support obligations.

Though fathers have traditionally been the ones to pay child support, more circumstances now exist where a mother might be the noncustodial parent who pays a co-parent. In any case, parents should follow the court’s decisions on support and custody to avoid problems.

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