divorce cases come with a great many complexities since so many issues may need to be addressed in a contested case. Even when the two parties amicably dissolve their marriage, attorneys for both spouses might still be required to negotiate and address financial matters and settlements. Parents who are divorcing in the Long Island or other areas within the state of New York often requires the litigation and negotiation skills of an experienced attorney to handle child support matters.
What is Child Support?
Most people maintain a general understanding of child support in the sense support refers to paying for the primary essentials related to care for a child. Food, clothing, and schooling would clearly fall under the category of essentials. Limiting child support to these commonly thought of essentials, however, would not be accurate. Child support frequently covers various other expenses related to the care of a child. Entertainment and health care costs are also taken into consideration when devising laws covering child support.
The laws of New York cover all the rules and requirements regarding child support payments. In this state, the non-custodial parent may be required to pay support until the child reaches the age of 21 unless the child is emancipated in some way.
Child Support Orders and Petitions
In family court, the judge may decree a child support order. As the name suggests, the order reflects a mandated requirement to pay child support. The order is anything but ambiguous. The amount of money required to pay as well as when and how often would be spelled out in the order.
Those in need of child support and lack an order must file a petition with the court. Doing so without the assistance of an attorney may prove regrettable. Working with an attorney who consistently handles child support petitions reduces the chances of delays and unfavorable decisions.
How is Child Support Determined in New York State?
Child support amounts are not arrived at in an arbitrary manner. Calculations are made based on a set percentage of combined income and the number of children. For one child, the percentage is 17. For two children, the percentage increases to 25. A child support calculation could work out in the following manner:
The combined income of two parents is $100,000. The two parents have one child. $17,000 is 17% of $100,000. The custodial parent earns $60,000 and the non-custodial parent earns $40,000. So, the non-custodial parent becomes obligated for 40% of $17,000. The specific dollar amount here would be $6,800.
The earning figures derive from gross income on a federal tax return. If there are questions deductions or inaccuracies on the tax return, a serious issue arises. The custodial parent’s lawyer steps in to address such things in court.
Failure to Pay Child Support
A child support order is a form of civil judgment. The judgment can be enforced in ways that a judgment from a lawsuit would be. A person who fails to pay child support may discover a lien has taken effect and money becomes automatically deducted from a paycheck. Failure to pay required child support may lead to a contempt of courtcharge. Such charges can be rather serious as fines and jail time may be levied against the parent who has not made child support payments.
The Serious Nature of Child Support
Compliance with child support orders and petitions is a serious matter that affects all parties. So, both parents should retain the best counsel to assist them in the entire process.
You never thought your marriage would end in divorce. That was something that happened to other people, but not to you. Unfortunately, it has happened. The prospect of making your way in the world without the person you once loved is unsettling. The fact that you must do so with children is even more daunting.
Your emotions concerning your divorce will be strong, but they need not be controlling. Despite the stress and strain that comes with breaking permanently with the person who was your life partner, there are crucial decisions to make. The most important of those are about your children.
You must take action that will ensure that your children do not suffer emotionally or materially as a result of the divorce. The only way to guarantee the latter is with child support. If you have been granted sole custody of your children or have agreed to share custody with your ex, the enforcement of the child support order is essential to making sure your kids remain in a stable and secure environment.
It is important for you to understand that the original child support order is not permanently fixed. The principle of payments is based on the circumstances of both parent and child. Changed circumstances are an adequate basis for changing the amount of money that the non-custodial parent should be made to pay.
The basic child support obligation is calculated as follows (the percentages refer to the amount of the non-custodial parent’s total income):
– 1 child = 17%
-2 children = 25%
-3 children = 29%
-4 children = 31%
-5 or more children = 35%
As your children grow older, the amount of money needed to sustain them will increase. Health complications, the need to maintain a standard of living that they have gotten used to, educational opportunities that they were on track to take advantage of—any number of these can serve as a compelling reason to change the child support order.
A significant change in the finances of your former spouse may also compel you to change the child support order. You would hope that the mother or father of your child wants what is best for them. You would think that no matter what other differences the two of you have the well-being and prosperity of your children is something you can both agree on.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Some non-custodial parents refuse to report an increase in their total income, even when the costs of raising their children continue to climb. Not only will they avoid further scrutiny regarding the child support order, they will not increase the amount of money they spend on their children on their own initiative.
If you know or strongly suspect that your ex is holding out your children, then you must take decisive action against them. It is not about you; it is about your children. And you must do all that you can to look after their welfare.
In general, the court will look at the following factors when deciding whether to alter the child support order:
-financial resources of both parents
-physical and emotional health of the child
-child’s standard of living
-tax consequences of the parties
-non-monetary contributions of the parents
-educational needs of the child
-needs of the non-custodial parent’s other children
Your ex may try to make the argument that your changed financial circumstances, if they have been for the better, absolves them of all responsibility for increasing the amount of money they pay. No such point or principle of law exists, and you should not be deterred from your effort to get your ex to do right by your children.
Contacting a lawyer should be your first step. A lawyer who specializes in child support law can provide you with the expertise you need to put your case before a judge and get the child support order changed. A child support lawyer is equipped to deploy a range of tools and tactics for this purpose.
They will be able to gather evidence, including valid records and testimony, to prove that your ex is not paying the amount of child support they should. They will also be able to make the case that the mounting costs of raising your children require more financial support from their other parent.
Lawyers who specialize in child support cases have seen the many ploys and techniques that non-custodial parents use to avoid paying child support. They have the insight and experience to get you and your children justice.
Winning a child custody case is quite difficult. The secret to winning such a case depends on a variety of issues that the court will take into consideration as the case proceeds. Most importantly, the court will analyze your character to determine whether you have the best interest of the kids at heart. The following legal tips will help you to avoid the pitfalls when applying for custody:
You must keep up on every responsibility regardless of the other parent’s behavior. Providing for your kid’s necessities is vital, whether the court has ordered it or not. Even if you have been denied visitation, you must try to reach out to your children. The court might deny you the rights to visitation in the quest to test your resolve. Ensure that you no not give up to your kids or your responsibilities during the trial. If the court has barred you from seeing the kids, you should opt for other means of communication. From telephone contact to letters, you have plenty of options at your disposal.
Besides visitation, you might also be barred from accessing your children’s records. An attorney can help you to get the legal and physical custody to your children during the proceedings. The other parent requires a court order to prevent you from visiting the kids. However, an attorney and help you to file the necessary custody actions that will give you the legal right to see your kids. However, the court will deny your application for custody if you are violating the court order. If you are charged with contempt of court, your application for custody will be denied. The key is to abide by the legal restrictions that the other parent has put in place as you seek the legal redress.
Modifications on the custody order
You can modify the custody order depending on your requirements. For example, you might realize that the other parent has neglected the children by failing to undertake the requisite responsibilities. In such a scenario, you could apply for full custody, especially if you think that the parent is unable to cater for their needs. Even if you do not apply for full custody, you can put some restrictions in place. The court will honor your application if your arguments are justifiable.
If the court has granted you the right to visit the children, the other parent should not deny you this right. You can develop a list of such denials and present your sentiments in the court. In most cases, the court will require a witness to testify on such matters. By recording such denials with the police, you can convince the court that the other parent has failed to honor a court order.
Avail the pertinent information about your kids
Availing the name, school, age, and any other relevant information about your kid is essential. If the attorney is going to compile a detailed report and analysis on the reasons why you deserve to be the main custodian, such information will play a huge role. The attorney needs to know whether the kids have any special needs and whether those needs are being met. If the kids are involved in some sporting activities, the parents need to know about them and keeps tabs on their whereabouts at all times. The court will analyze the parent’s commitment in the upbringing of their kids before they award the custody rights. The Court uses this information to establish that it has jurisdiction to determine who cares for the child. If a toddler requires some daycare services, the court will ask the pertinent questions to understand whether the parents are meeting those needs. As you child custody attorneys, we will give you a comprehensive list of issues that will make a huge impact in the jurisdiction of your case. You need to adhere to the requirements of the court in order to influence the jury to rule in your favor. Moreover, the attorney will establish the gaps and highlight the reasons why the other parent is unable to cater for the kids’ requirements.
Provide information about the other parent
The attorney will require more information about the other parent’s address, occupation, and character to build a formidable case. The attorney will ask various questions regarding the relationship between the other parent and the children. Such details will help the attorney to develop a visitation schedule that suits both parents. For example, the occupation of the other parent can affect the nature of custody that the court will award. Besides, the attorney needs to prove that the visitation schedule is in the best interests of the children. Withholding such details will not only weaken your case, but it will give the opposing party a competitive edge. If the other party has a history of violence, the court is likely to rule in your favor.