Child support is the money that is intended to be used to cover the food, clothing, shelter, and other basic expenses of a child under 21 years of age. It does not include medical insurance, uninsured medical expenses, child care, or college costs.
Child support can be established in an agreement between both spouses or according to a court order. People often think that the amount designated to be paid in child support is determined by a basic formula or a certain percentage of income. However, while formulas and income are factors, there are many more considerations.
Child support is generally filed for after a child custody agreement is in place. The court needs to take into account where the child is living and the expenses associated with that care. Most of the time, child support agreements are between two divorcing spouses or two individuals who have a child together but were never married. However, a non-parent who is raising a child (such as a grandparent) may file for child support from one or both parents.
When determining child support, the court will look at the combined gross income of both parents first. Next, the New York State Child Support Standards Act will be applied to determine the amount of support provided for the child. Then, each spouse’s contribution will be set based on their incomes. While this process is the basis for support calculations, there are many other factors to be taken into account.
Child support rulings are not necessarily final. The order may need to be adjusted in the future. There are three main reasons that justify a change in child support. The first is if three years have passed since the last order was executed. If so, a parent may ask the court to reconsider the terms of the order. The second circumstance is if there is a significant change (an increase or decrease of at least 15%) in one parent’s income. The third reason is that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. For example, child support may be modified if the residential schedule of the child has changed since the agreement was executed.
No parent wants their child’s needs to go unmet. If you are seeking child support, you will need to ensure that the amount you receive will satisfactorily cover the costs of raising your child. If you are paying child support, you will want to rest assured that the amount is fair, and that your own quality of life is preserved. In both cases, the counsel of an expert family law attorney is priceless.
Bates Family Law will work diligently to come to a fair child support agreement that is acceptable to you and the court. If child support is already established, we can tell you whether the amount you are currently paying or receiving is fair.
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When it comes to your divorce or family law case, experience matters. We have represented thousands of clients in matters of divorce, child custody, and child support.
Many people do not realize that New York is a no-fault divorce state. It is no longer necessary or even common to get a legal separation before getting divorced in New York. An uncontested divorce is the fastest and most budget-friendly path to marital dissolution. Often, an uncontested divorce can be settled with only one party retaining a lawyer.
When an uncontested divorce is not possible, you will want a family court lawyer with extensive trial experience. When you are considering hiring a family court lawyer, it is important to ask about the number of divorce trials they have handled.
Divorce for Business Owners or Their Spouses
If you or your spouse own a business, it’s crucial to hire a divorce attorney who has comprehensive experience handling business assets. Not all divorce attorneys understand business valuations or the tax consequences of businesses. The special considerations of business owners require special knowledge from your lawyer.
Nothing is more important than your children. If you are facing parental alienation or your children are being coached, a child custody battle can be especially difficult. We have expertly conducted countless child custody trials, including initial determinations of the best interests of the children, modifications to prior orders, enforcement proceedings, and cases of parental alienation.
Child support is much more complicated than a basic formula or a certain percentage of income. There are multiple considerations that go into calculating child support, especially if you or the other parent works in a cash business, is underemployed, or if you share equal time with the child. We are experienced in every aspect of determining child support. If child support is already established, we can even determine, often in a phone call, whether the amount you are currently paying or receiving is fair.
Orders of Protection
If you have been served with a Family Court Order of Protection or if you feel that you need an Order of Protection to keep you or your children safe, you must act fast. An Order of Protection against you can impact your job, your ability to see your children, your right to live in your home, and your right to possess firearms. If a temporary Order of Protection was issued against you without you being present, you have a right to have the Order of Protection reevaluated right away. If you are seeking an Order of Protection, we will help you apply for the order, most often within 24 hours.
Have you tried to work through the issues with your spouse and keep "getting stuck" in the same pattern? Our mediators help couples shift into a new and productive way of communicating and problem solving, even while they are working towards their divorce. This family-centered process, in which the parties themselves are in control and empowered to make their own decisions, seeks to reduce the tension and trauma of divorce, not increase it. This enables couples to achieve a sense of wholeness by working together through the current issues and develop the necessary tools for resolving future differences.