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Westchester Child Support Attorneys explain Violation Petitions & Willfulness

/Child-Support.aspxViolation Petitions in Westchester County Family Courts under a NY Child Support Order

If the person responsible for paying child support under a NY Child Support Order (the payor) ceases or fails to pay child support as directed, the payee (the one who receives the child support) may file a violation petition or an enforcement petition with the local Westchester County Family Court, located in White Plains, New Rochelle or Yonkers, NY.

Once the violation petition is filed, the court will hold a hearing to determine whether a violation of the court order has occurred, and if so what relief should be awarded to the payee.

Findings of Willfulness for non-payment of Child Support in Westchester County, NY

Under New York law there is a legal presumption that a parent's failure to pay court ordered child support is willful. Willful is a legal term under the law. A payee's sworn testimony as to non-receipt of ordered child support payments from payor is sufficient evidence to establlich a willful violation. Once the violation has been established, it becomes the burden of the payor to demonstrate his or her inability to make the required payments. The payor must offering competent and credible evidence of his or her inability to make the court ordered payments in order to avoid a willfulness finding. It's important to realize that simply offering mitigating circumstances may not be sufficient to avoid such a finding.

In some instances, a finding of willfulness can be avoided by the issuance of a money judgment. The money judgment awards the Payee the total amount of child support owed by the Payor. This amount is also known as "arrears".

In other instances, a money judgment will not satisfy the case and the support magistrate or family court judge may, if the circumstances warrant, order certain action including but not limited to:

  1. Take away the payor's business or professional licenses.
  2. Suspend any recreational licenses that the payor may have.
  3. Force the payor to pay the support in advance before the payments are due.
  4. Put the payor in jail for up to 6 months.
  5. Put the payor on probation in accordance with the criminal procedure law.
  6. Order the payor to pay the payee's attorney's fees.
  7. Add interest to the amount of money judgment.
  8. Order the payor to join a rehabilitation program for work preparation, alcohol or substance abuse, or education.

If child support is paid through the Support Collection Unit ("SCU") then SCU can help collect past due support at no charge. They can:

  1. Have the payor's employer take money directly from his salary before paying him (called income execution) and send it directly to SCU, who will then forward it to you.
  2. Have the government send them his state or federal income tax refund or a portion of his unemployment benefits.
  3. Have the Department of Motor Vehicles suspend his driver's license.
  4. Take money from his bank accounts and retirement accounts.
  5. Put liens on his property (like cars and home) so he can't sell that property without paying child support first.
  6. Report his late support payments to credit agencies.

Can a Westchester County Child Support Lawyer Help with Your Violation Petition?

In short, Yes. The Child Support lawyers of Riebling, Proto & Sachs, LLP have helped countless clients in the Westchester Family Courts enforce child support orders and defend against claims of willfulness for years. With over 50 years of combined experience, our child support attorneys will take the time to go over the facts of your particular case and explain to you the best way for your case to be handled.

Recently, our attorneys successfully defended a father that had prior judgments issued against him and now owed in excess of $40,000.00 in child support. The client was facing incarceration of up to six months when he contacted our firm. By acting quickly, our child support attorneys were able to collect necessary information and present it to the court in such a way that it explained why he had fallen behind with his child support payments. The client was able to avoid incarceration at the end of the hearing. Thereafter, the client was able to obtain employment that allowed him to fulfill his obligations under the order, something that would not have occurred if he was imprisoned.

Contact a Proven Child Support Attorney in Westchester County, NY

If you or someone you know has an issue with Child Support, contact the proven child support attorneys of Riebling, Proto & Sachs, LLP. We will work quickly to protect your rights.

Free Consultations are available. Call (914) 840-5104.