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In New York State, child support is calculated pursuant to the Child Support Standards Act, which is a formula that takes into consideration certain factors regarding each parents income, timeshare and responsibility for the children(ren). The State holds each parent to the equal responsibility of supporting their children based on each parents financial abilities and station in life. The goal of the court is to ensure that the children’s needs are met in both parents home.
Accurately calculating child support is accomplished by ensuring that all relevant income information is considered pursuant to the Child Support Standards Chart http://www.childsupport.ny.gov/dcse/pdfs/CSSA.pdf.
What is child support?
Child support are payments made usually by a non-custodial parent, to the other parent for the benefits of the children’s needs. It is public policy to ensure that the parents provide for the needs of their children, so that the children’s needs are not required to be met by public assistance. In addition to financial support for the children’s basic needs, the court may also make “add-on” child support orders so that the non-custodial parent also contributes to other needs, such as extra-curricular activities or special educational needs.
How can a lawyer help me establish child support?
One of the single most important elements of a divorce or family law proceeding is the determination of child support. Many factors are considered when accurately calculating support, and it is imperative that you speak with an experienced child support lawyer to ensure that support is accurately calculated in your case. It can be extremely costly and time consuming to modify a child support order once a judge has made their ruling therefore it is extremely important to get it right the first time.
Do I still have to pay child support even if I do not visit my children?
Yes. In fact, you will pay more child support because you do not visit your children. Think of it this way, the more time you spend with your children the less you will pay in child support. However, you cannot discharge your responsibility to pay child support simply because you do not visit the children, and under most situations it is nearly impossible to discharge a child support obligation. Even in situations where parents waive or give up their parental rights they may still be subject to pay child support until the child is an adult.
Do I still have to pay child support if the other parent has remarried?
Yes. In fact, under most situations the other parent’s new-spouse’s income has no bearing on the outcome or amount of child support that a non-custodial parent will be ordered to pay.
Do I still have to pay child support even if the other parent earns more than me?
It depends on the amount of time that you spend with your children, but in some situations you may still be ordered to pay child support even if the other parent earns more income than you. However, the law states that child support shall be set based on a fixed percentage based on the number of children involved. The percentages are as follows:
1 child (17% of the non-custodial parent’s income)
2 children (25% of the non-custodial parent’s income)
3 children (29% of the non-custodial parent’s income)
4 children (31% of the non-custodial parent’s income)
5 or more (at least 35% of the non-custodial parent’s income)
What if the other parent is unemployed?
It is the duty of the court and public policy to ensure that parents, and not the State or Federal government, support their children. Likewise, if a parent is unemployed and contributing to the support and needs of their children, the court has the authority to order the unemployed parent to actively seek employment and show evidence that they are doing so.
What if the other parent is divesting themselves of income?
If it can be shown that the unemployed parent is voluntarily unemployed, the court than has the authority to impute income to that parent.
What can I do if I suspect the other parent is not accurately disclosing their income?
If you suspect that the other parent is hiding or inaccurately, or failing to disclose their actual income, you should be with an attorney right away. An experienced child support attorney is skilled at discovering undisclosed income, and can ensure that your child support order is based on accurate information.
Can I modify a child support order?
Yes. Child support orders are modifiable based on a change in circumstances, which may consist of an increase or decrease in pay, loss of employment, increase or decrease in custodial time, or other factors for which the court may consider making a change to the child support amount. An experienced child support lawyer can help you submit a strong and compelling basis for your modification, and can assist you in calculating the proper amount based on your change in circumstances.
If you have a child support case in the Brooklyn area, you should consult with an experienced child support lawyer before any orders are made, to ensure that your child support order is accurately calculated.
When spouses plan to divorce, there are so many legal issues to understand. It serves your children well for you to learn how to calculate child support finances and the party that becomes responsible for the child’s upkeep. Brooklyn child support lawyers provide the facts about the issue.
“Who is the Child’s Father?”
Establishing the child’s paternity is a matter that may come into play in child support cases. First what happens when there is presumed or agreed on fatherhood?
Acknowledged father: The biological father in an unmarried relationship with the mother of a child, who admits paternity or whose DNA test proves fatherhood, must shoulder child support responsibility.
Presumed father: The presumes father is the man in a marital relationship with the child’s mother unless evidence proves otherwise. Presumed father includes:
• The male spouse to the mother during the conception period or at the time of the child’s birth.
• The man who attempted to wed the conceived mother or during the period the child’s birth.
• The male partner agreed to support the child or that the child takes his name on the birth certificate.
• The man openly held the child as a his son or daughter or agreed to accommodate the child in his home.
A presumed father must shoulder the duties of child support.
Equitable Parent, Alleged Father, or Stepfather
The other categories of the father who the law says must pay child support include:
• An equitable parent who the court grants visitation or custody rights because of a close relationship with the child.
• Alleged father, or an unmarried male who impregnates a woman with custody and visitation rights.
• Stepfather or the legal spouse, who adopts the child, despite not the biological father. There is no obligation for the father to pay child support unless he decides to adopt the child.
Paternity Actions established by DNA Tests
If a lawsuit filed to determine paternity shows that a man is a biological father through a DNA blood test, the man will have to pay child support.
How to Calculate Child Support Finances
The non-custodial parent must provide finances for the child’s upkeep as per the standard guidelines-17 percent for one child, 25 percent for two children, 29 percent for three children, 31 percent for four children, or 33 percent to cater for five children daily expenses, healthcare needs, and education. The percentages rely on the income of the non-custodial parent provided the total earnings of both parents does not surpass $80,000.00.
How Long will the Parents Finance the Children?
Child support is not a lifetime duty. Upon the child attaining the majority, the financial support will come to an end, unless the child is still in college or has mental or physical challenges. A child who starts an active military will forego child support. The support cannot continue if the court declares the child an emancipated resident, which means the child is self-supporting or is free of parental control. The court can terminate the support, for instance, when another parent adopts the child.
Child Support Vs. Visitation Rights
The question that many non-custodial parents ask Brooklyn child support lawyers is, “Should I pay child support if the other parent denies me visitation and custody rights?”
Yes, you cannot refuse to pay child support because of the behavior of the other parent.
However, some courts can suspend the child support, temporarily. You should ask a Brooklyn child support attorney about how the court can enforce your visitation rights.
When you need a child support lawyer in Brooklyn, make Spodek Law Group your first call. Since 1976, we have been fighting aggressively to get our clients the child support settlements they deserve.
When it comes to child support, every case is different. You may be appealing a previous decision based on a change in your financial circumstances, or you may be fighting with a vindictive ex who has left you with the financial burden of raising your children. Whatever the circumstances, you need a child support lawyer prepared to go to court with research and evidence that supports your claim.
Our offices are conveniently located locally in Queens. We make every effort to accommodate clients from Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn by offering 24-hour phone support as well as video conferencing. Our innovative electronic case management system makes the latest updates about your case available to any of our lawyers, meaning you can get instant answers to your questions, whether or not the team assigned to your case is available at the moment.
A strong relationship between attorney and client is one of the key building blocks of a successful child support case. Your attorney needs to know who you are and what you’re fighting for in order to effectively represent you, either before a judge or at the negotiating table. That’s why we encourage all of our clients to be as open and honest with us as possible, and we make ourselves available to answer all of your questions.