The law requires that parents take care of their children, by catering for their basic needs like food, shelter, clothing, and healthcare. When parents separate, a child lives with one of the parents, hence child support is meant to ensure that both parents contribute fairly to financially support the child. You will want a child support lawyer on your side. Douglas Family Law Group in New York is here to help
The child support payments can be administratively ordered or court ordered. In other cases, the parents can reach their own agreements on how they will pay for the kid’s support. Contact the family law attorneys at Douglas Family Law Group to schedule a consultation
What Is Child Support?
Child support is a legal obligation that requires parents to provide financial support to their children after a separation or divorce. It is a form of financial assistance that is designed to help custodial parents provide for the basic needs of their children, such as food, shelter, clothing, and education.
Child support is a critical aspect of family law, and parents need to understand their rights and obligations regarding child support.
It is important to note that child support is not just about financial support. It’s also about ensuring that children have access to the resources they need to thrive. This can include access to medical care, education, and other basic necessities. Simply put, child support is designed to help ensure that children do not suffer as a result of their parents’ separation or divorce.
In addition to financial support, child support can also provide emotional help for children. When a parent pays child support, it sends a message to the child that the parent cares about their well-being and wants to ensure that they have the resources they need to succeed.
This can be especially important in cases where the non-custodial parent spends less time with the child, as it can help to maintain a strong relationship between the parent and child.
Who Pays Child Support in New York?
In most cases, child support is paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent. The non-custodial parent is the parent who spends the least amount of time with the child, while the custodial parent is the parent who has primary custody of the kid. The court usually determines the amount of child support, although parents can also come to an agreement outside of court and submit it to the court for approval.
These payments are based on a variety of factors, including the income of both parents, the number of children involved, and the time the parents spend together with the child. The court uses a formula to calculate the amount of child support that is owed.
Child support payments are done monthly, and they can continue until the child reaches the age of majority or graduates from high school. In some cases, child support may also be required for children who are attending college or vocational school. It is key for parents to understand that child support is not a voluntary payment, and failure to pay can result in serious consequences.
What If a Parent Doesn’t Pay Child Support?
The consequences of failing to pay child support can be severe, where a parent who fails to pay child support can be held in contempt of court and may face fines or even jail time.
Additionally, failure to pay child support can result in wage garnishment, which means that the non-custodial parent’s wages may be deducted to pay the child support that is owed. The non-custodial parent’s tax refund may also be intercepted to pay child support.
Parents should understand their rights and obligations regarding child support. It includes knowing the factors used to determine child support payments, as well as the consequences of failing to pay child support. Parents need to communicate with each other and with their children about child support, as this can help to ensure that everyone understands the importance of this critical aspect of family law.
How Is Child Support Determined in New York?
In New York state, child support is determined by a formula that takes into account the income of both parents, the number of children involved, and other relevant factors. The formula is intended to ensure that child support payments are fair and reasonable and that they provide for the basic needs of the child.
Calculating Child Support
The formula used to calculate child support in New York State is based on a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income. The percentage used depends on the number of children involved. For example, for one child, the non-custodial parent is typically required to pay 17% of their income in child support. For two children, the percentage is 25%, and for three or more children, it is 29%.
The income used to calculate child support includes all income received by the non-custodial parent, including wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, and other types of earnings. Revenue from self-employment or business activities is also included, as well as earnings from rental property, investments, and other sources.
In addition to income, calculating child support in New York State also takes into account certain expenses, such as childcare and health insurance costs. These expenses are subtracted from the non-custodial parent’s income before the child support percentage is applied.
Parents need to provide accurate and complete information about their income and expenses when determining child support in New York State. Providing wrong information can lead to an inaccurate calculation of child support and may result in legal consequences.
The Formula May Not Fit All Circumstances
The formula used to calculate child support in New York State is intended to be fair and reasonable, but it is important to note that it is not always a perfect reflection of a family’s circumstances. In some cases, the court may deviate from the formula if there are compelling reasons to do so.
For example, if a child has special needs that require additional financial support, the court may increase the amount of child support required. Similarly, if one parent has significant expenses related to visitation or other costs related to maintaining a relationship with the child, the court may adjust the amount of child support accordingly.
The court may also deviate from the formula if one parent has an unusually high income or if one parent has an unusually low income. In these cases, the court may adjust the percentage of income used to calculate child support to ensure that the child’s basic needs are met.
Parents Can Create a Child Support Agreement
In some cases, parents may be able to reach an agreement about child support outside of court. However, any agreement must be approved by the court to be legally binding. If parents cannot agree on child support, the court will make a determination based on the formula and other relevant factors, to ensure the child gets the appropriate financial support while being fair to all the parents.
Parents can also seek modifications to child support if their circumstances change. For example, if a parent loses their job or experiences a significant change in income, they may be able to seek an adjustment of child support. Moreover, if the child’s needs change, such as if they require additional medical care or educational support, the parents may be able to seek changes.
What If My Financial Circumstances Change?
If the financial circumstances of the parent paying child support change, they may be able to request a modification of their child support order. A modification is a change to the existing court order, and it must be approved by the court in order to be legally binding.
There are several reasons why a parent might seek a modification of their child support order, including changes to their income, changes to the needs of their child, or changes to their custody arrangement.
If a parent experiences a significant change in their income, such as losing their job or experiencing a reduction in their income, they may be able to seek a modification of their child support. In order to seek a modification, the parent will need to provide evidence of the change in their income, such as a layoff notice, a termination letter, or documentation of their new income level.
The court will then review the request and may adjust the child support payments accordingly.
If a parent believes that they may not be in a position to make their child support payments due to a their current financial circumstances, it’s important to contact the court and request a modification of the child support order, rather than ignore their child support obligations.
It’s important to note that the parent will need to provide proof that the change in their income is significant and ongoing. If they experience a temporary reduction in their income, such as a brief period of unemployment, they may not be able to seek a modification of their child support order.
Child Support Can Also Change if a Child’s Needs Change
Similarly, if the needs of the child change, such as if they require additional medical care or educational support, the parent paying child support may be able to seek a modification of their child support order.
In this case, the parent will need to provide evidence of the changed circumstances, such as medical bills or documentation of the child’s educational needs. The court will then review the request and may alter the child support payments depending on the new conditions.
It’s important to remember that if the needs of the child change, the parent paying child support should seek a modification of their child support order as soon as possible. Delaying a request for a modification can result in a backlog of unpaid child support, which can lead to legal consequences.
Finally, if the custody arrangement changes, such as if the child moves in with the parent paying child support or they obtain joint custody, the parent paying child support may be able to request for modification of their child support order.
In this case, the parent will need to provide proof of the change in custody, such as a new custody order. The court will then review the request and may adjust the child support payments accordingly.
One more thing, even if the custody arrangement changes, the parent paying child support may still be obligated to pay child support. The amount of child support payments will depend on a variety of factors, including the income of both parents, the needs of the child, and the custody arrangement.
How Do I Find the Best Child Support Lawyer For My Case?
Child support is a crucial aspect of family law that involves financial support for a child after a divorce or separation. It is important to find the best child support lawyer to ensure that your child gets the financial support they deserve. However, with so many lawyers out there, finding the right one can be overwhelming.
The following are key factors to consider when looking for the best child support lawyer.
Look for an Experienced Child Support Lawyer
When it comes to child support, experience matters. Look for a lawyer who has experience in handling child support cases. An experienced child support lawyer will be familiar with the legal system and the procedures involved in child support cases. They will also have a better understanding of the factors that can affect child support, such as income, custody arrangements, and child support guidelines.
You can ask potential lawyers about their experience and the types of cases they have handled in the past. You can also check their website or online profiles to see if they have experience in child support cases. Look for a child support lawyer who has a track record of successful outcomes in child support cases.
Check Their Reputation
The reputation of a lawyer is an important factor to consider. You want to work with a lawyer who has a good reputation in the legal community and among their clients. You can determine the child support lawyer’s reputation by looking at online reviews, testimonials, and recommendations from friends and family members.
You can also check the lawyer’s disciplinary record. The state bar association maintains a record of all disciplinary actions taken against lawyers. You can check the child support lawyer’s record to see if they have been disciplined for any ethical violations.
Consider Their Availability
Child support cases can be time-consuming and require a lot of attention. You want to work with a lawyer who is there to answer your questions when needed, and keep you informed throughout the process. When you meet with potential lawyers, ask them about their availability and how they will communicate with you during the case.
You should also ask about their workload and whether they will be able to give your case the attention it deserves. In case a lawyer seems too busy or distracted during your initial meeting, it may be a sign that they will not be available when you need them.
Look for a Lawyer Who Specializes in Family Law
Family law deals with family-related issues such as divorce, child support, and child custody. Look for a lawyer who specializes in family law and has experience in handling child support cases.
A lawyer who specializes in family law will have a better understanding of the legal issues involved in child support cases. They will also be familiar with the judges and court procedures in family law cases. This can be an advantage in your case, as they will know how to navigate the legal system and achieve the best outcome for you and your child.
Evaluate their Communication Skills
Communication is a crucial aspect of any legal case. You want to work with a New York child support lawyer who communicates well and can explain legal concepts in a simple way. When you meet with potential lawyers, pay attention to their communication skills. Are they able to explain legal concepts in a way that you can understand? Do they listen to your concerns and answer your questions thoroughly?
A good lawyer should be able to communicate clearly and effectively with their clients. They should also be responsive to your calls and emails and keep you informed throughout the case.
Check the Cost
While child support cases can be tricky, this doesn’t mean that your child support lawyer should overcharge you. Set a budget, and then scout for lawyers that fall within your budget. Compare widely to ensure you get a fair deal.
Contact a New York Child Support Lawyer at Douglas Family Law Group Today!
Child support helps cover the needs of a child after the end of the relationship between parents. Determining who will receive child support can be a daunting task, especially if there’s a battle for custody. Contact Douglas Family Law Group in White Plains to help you understand your obligations and rights regarding providing for your child’s care in the state of New York.