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Public assistance, child support and father/husband in prison.

Troy, NY |

I understand that when I applied for public assistance for my son, that I am required to cooperate with DSS to persue child support. The only reason why I applied for public assistance is because my husband, who is also my son's father, is currently in prison and I recieve SSI. My husband was the sole provider for our family. When he went to jail, I had no choice but to apply for public assistance. I am still with my husband and if he was home, I wouldn't ask for DSS's help. Do I have a good cause not to cooperate? Is there any way that my husband wouldn't have to pay child support and I to stay on public assistance while he is away?

Attorney Answers 3


In exchange for public assistance you assign your rights to child support to the department of social services. The non custodial father is responsible for child support. If the state is providing child support, then they have a right to collect from the father. If you fail to cooperate, then you will lose your government benefits.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or

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2 lawyers agree


Mr. Lutsky is correct. Sorry, but your husband is responsible for the economic support of your child, not the taxpayers of New York...

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You have to cooperate or you will lose your benefits. I do not know how public assistance will be successful obtaining money from your husband while he is in prison. In order to determine support, they will be using your husband's income or income earned prior to going to prison. Your husband would have the right to appear in court. This could be complicated for the government depending upon which prison your husband is in. They may or may not go forward with their case. You should cooperate with the government and then deal with the issue of child support, when and if it occurs.

Advice on this forum is for informational purposes only and should never be mistaken as a substitution for legal advice. Answering a question does not create an attorney client relationship. If you need legal advice, you should consult or retain legal counsel.

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