Financially providing for children is one of the legal responsibilities of all parents in New York. Child support payments help keep children fed, healthy and clothed. When parents fail to make their child support payments, this can have devastating effects on their families, as well as serious consequences for the parents themselves.

To begin, a valid order must be in place. How much child support should be paid can be decided by the parents by creating an agreement that is then approved by a court. If parents are unable to negotiate, the judge will review the parents’ finances and then issue what is known as a court order.

To keep the child support coming, some parents may be interested in learning more about child support withholdings, which can be set up to be automatically deducted from parents’ pay checks, ensuring parents need miss child support payments. Parents must remember to keep all contact information in a safe place — several people must be notified if the child support must be modified — and current. This is crucial if a significant change in circumstances that could affect the calculation of child support occurs.

If a parent’s financial status changes due to supporting more children or losing a job, child support can be modified in order to assuage the financial difficulties. However, if this occurs, it is essential for the parent to act quickly, as the parent is still responsible for unpaid child support, which cannot be reduced later or erased in a bankruptcy. As such, child support can have a serious impact on a parent’s finances. In order to under their legal rights and responsibilities or to learn about how to modify current child support orders, many parents consider consulting experienced New York family law attorneys.

Source: FindLaw, “Paying Child Support Checklist“, Accessed on May 28, 2016