In New York State Family Court child support payments are made pursuant
to a Court Order. Child support can be made by the noncustodial parent
to the custodial parent either directly or through the support collection
In Westchester County the SCU unit is located in Mount Vernon but in child
support court a representative from SCU will be in Court to inform the
Court and the parties regarding the status of child support payments from
the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent. It is very important
that both parties keep track of all child support payments made or received.
It is never suggested by any child support lawyer in Westchester County
or otherwise that any payments for support be made or received in cash!!
When the noncustodial parent falls behind in child support payments a petition
may be submitted accusing the noncustodial parent of violating the child
support court order. This petition is very serious since a nonpayment
of support by the noncustodial parent can lead to incarceration. Due to
the serious nature of this violation it is always recommended to have
a family court lawyer in court with you if you are the noncustodial parent
or the custodial parent. If the violation of the court order is found
to be willful the court must order attorneys fees for the custodial parent.
Recently in the Westchester County Family Court it was found that proof
that the respondent (noncustodial parent) Failed to pay court ordered
child support is prima facia evidence that the violation of the order
was willful shifting the burden to the respondent to offer competent,
credible evidence of an inability to pay. Family Court Act section 454(3)(a).
The respondent sustained his burden of demonstrating his financial inability
to make payments required by the Child Support Court Order in Westchester
County. To sustain his Burden the respondent offered uncontroverted evidence
that since losing his position as a security guard in 2004, he has been
able to obtain sporadic employment at low wages and he had no savings
or other assets.
Under those circumstances it was found that his violation of the Westchester
County Child Support Order was not willful.
There is a fine line the
Child support court needs to determine when reviewing a petition for failure to pay
child support and a child support lawyer is always necessary since the
legal issues can be complex.