Bellone, Officials for New Initiative to Crack Down on Deadbeat Parents for Non-Payment of Child Support
July 27, 2015
SUFFOLK COUNTY, NY – Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone was joined by Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory, Suffolk County Legislator William Lindsay III, Assistant Deputy County Executive for Public Safety Tim Sini, and the Suffolk County Police Department to announce a new policy and enhanced measures addressing parents who are driving with a suspended license due to non-payment of child support.
The new initiative implements a policy whereby Suffolk County Police Officers will arrest such individuals who are observed operating a motor vehicle while their license is suspended. There are currently more than 12,000 people with suspended licenses in Suffolk County for the failure to pay child support.
“We are very concerned about the well-being of our families and kids in particular. We need to do everything in our power to ensure that those who bear the financial burden of taking care of children, live up to their responsibilities,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “The bottom line is simple: if you are ordered to pay child support, pay the child support. That’s it, clear and simple.”
“All too often we hear that parents are not fulfilling their obligations to pay child support. This is unfair to the mothers and fathers, this is unfair to Suffolk County and most of all, this is unfair to children,” said Assistant Deputy County Executive for Public Safety Tim Sini. “With this new policy, we add yet another tool to our arsenal to force those to fulfill their obligations.”
Since the policy’s implementation, 30 parents in Suffolk County have been arrested due to operating a motor vehicle with a suspended driver’s license because of failure to pay support.
“It’s very important that we in government send a clear message to everybody that they have to play by the rules,” said Suffolk County Legislator William Lindsay III. “This applies to individuals that don’t pay anything, who have continuously not paid anything, and have basically thumbed their nose at the system for a long period of time. It’s time that we say enough is enough, you need to fulfill your obligations as a parent.”
Under New York State law, driver’s licenses are suspended for those who have not paid their child support for four months and did not pay after receiving a formal notice.
The new policy is in compliance with several New York State laws, including the state’s Vehicle Traffic Law, Domestic Relations Law, Family Court Act, Social Services Law and Criminal Procedure Law.
“Most people pay their child support,” said Suffolk County Police Chief John Meehan. “Of the people who don’t pay or are forced to pay, about 67% of them pay through garnishing salaries. Another 16% do it because they’re forced to do it because they need their license. But that leaves 17% of the people who are not paying, and that is not good enough. We have to do better. And that’s what this is intended to do.”
“This new initiative sends the right message, said Suffolk County Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory. “If you have failed to meet your obligation to pay child support, we are not going to allow that to continue any further.”
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