Fail to Pay Child Support, Lose Your License

The Rosen Law Blog  reminds us that there are penalties for the failure to pay child support.. The most obvious penalty is that the “dead-beat” parent can be incarcerated and held in contempt of court.

In addition, in New York, the failure of a parent to pay court ordered child support can result in the suspension of driver’s, professional, business and/or recreational licenses. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, every state has some version of a law that revokes licenses of parents who fail to pay child support

Originally, I thought it an oddity that the penalty for the non payment of support was the revocation of the very professional license needed by the payor to generate income. Without the license, there could be no income. Without income, there could be no money available to pay support.

On the other hand, if the parent is not paying support, the children, the beneficiaries of the intended support, are not being hurt by the lost income occasioned by the license suspension. In the end, it may be a good lesson to the non paying parent to get a taste of what it is like not to have money for food, clothing and shelter.

In any event, I have seen firsthand that the loss of a license works. Inevitably, after a parent’s driving privileges have been revoked (because he/she is in arrears and claims that he/she cannot afford to pay child support), he/she miraculously manages to find just enough money to satisfy the support arrears.

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