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New York laws are strict regarding driver’s licenses. If you don’t follow the rules of the road, you risk the loss of your license either indefinitely or for a specific amount of time. What most people fail to realize is they can lose their license in New York for something other than a traffic violation. It’s easy to realize your license might be suspended if you’re caught drinking and driving, but did you know you can lose your license if you are in a court-ordered agreement to pay child support and you fail to make the timely and appropriate payments? It’s not automatic, but if your ex-spouse decides he or she is going to file a suit against you, your license could be suspended until you pay.
If you are in the middle of a divorce and your spouse is required to pay temporary support to either you or your kids, you might wonder if this same rule applies. If your spouse fails to make the proper temporary support payments to you while your divorce is ongoing, do you have the right to ask the court to suspend his driver’s license? The answer is not black and white in New York.
The only rule set in stone in New York regarding license suspension and someone’s decision not to make payments to a spouse or ex has to do with child support. If your temporary support is child support, you could file a petition with the court asking them to find the money your spouse owes you and the kids, but there is no guarantee it will result in a suspended license if it’s not child support and court-ordered.
If your support is temporary support while you’re in the middle of your divorce and looking for a job after being home with the kids, there is a lesser chance your spouse will see his license suspended for not paying. The court does require this kind of temporary support in some cases, but there is no direct law stating the loss of a license for nonpayment of temporary support.
If your spouse is not paying the temporary support he owes you while your divorce is ongoing, you might have other options. You can file a petition with the court asking them to find the money for you. It might result in the judge amending the divorce decree to ensure you’re getting a little more in the settlement than you were before he decided to stop making payments. It might result in the court requiring he make payment immediately before they seek a temporary seizure of the funds through wage garnishment.
The law doesn’t specify what might happen in this exact situation in New York, but it’s up to the judge in your case. It’s also up to you. If you decide to pursue this in the court, you can ask the judge to find the money for you to continue with the temporary support. If your spouse stops making payments and goes to the court before you to let them know he is having financial troubles due to job loss or something to that effect, it might be a different story. He might be able to win this case, and you might find his court order to pay temporary support changes.
If you’re not sure how to handle this kind of situation, it’s to seek legal counsel. Your attorney can help you figure out what options you have, how you can file for your support payments, and what you should do. Sometimes the consequences of not paying support are not what you might expect, and going forward with a case might mean you’re affected later when your divorce settlement goes through. Let your attorney walk you through your options before you decide how you want to proceed.