Larkin Fights To Increase Penalties On Deadbeat Parents

William J. Larkin, Jr.

March 09, 2006

Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) is cosponsoring legislation (S.6598) in the State Senate to increase the penalties for anyone who fails to pay child support for children up to the age of eighteen as opposed to the current age of up to 16.

"Although New York State law requires a parent or legal guardian to support a child until the age of 21, the way the Penal Law is currently written, we cannot prosecute these deadbeat parents when the child is over 16 years of age," said Senator Larkin. "This legislation will amend the Penal Law to mirror state laws which hold a parent or guardian legally responsible for a child until the age of 18. If someone is found willfully in violation of his or her child support order, the court may send them to jail for a period of up to six months."

The State Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) has many administrative enforcement techniques at its disposal to ensure that child support is paid as ordered by the family court. If such administrative techniques have been exhausted, OCSE may then file a violation petition to bring the case to family court for appropriate action.

Anyone with questions about child support issues should call the Orange County Child Support Enforcement Unit in Goshen at (845) 291-4288; or the Ulster County Child Support Enforcement Unit in Kingston at (845) 334-5015.