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Manhattan Child Support Lawyers

Parents who are raising children alone in Manhattan can file a motion to obtain child support from the absent parent. If the child lives with a parent more than half the time, then that parent is considered to be the custodial one while the other parent is considered to be absent. This is true even if the parent who doesn’t live with the child has regular visitation. In most situations for parents who live in Manhattan, the parent who makes more money is the one who will pay child support. In simple terms, child support is a monetary payment made to the state that is then given to the designated parent. A guardian of the child, such as a family member or foster parent, can also receive support to help raise the child.

How Is Child Support Handled Legally?

Most child support cases are dealt with in a family court. A judge is present as well as an attorney for one or both parents according to the New York City Bar. At times, a hearing examiner will listen to the case and make a decision instead of a judge. Cases that involve children living on public assistance take place in a family court located in Manhattan. Once all of the evidence is heard by the judge or examiner and the proper calculations have been made, then a decision will be given as to who pays child support and who receives the support payment. A child support hearing that is the result of a divorce might be handled in Supreme Court.

Who Is Responsible?

Many parents believe that no contact with the child means that they aren’t obligated to pay child support. Even if a parent does not talk to or see the child, support is still an obligation. The custodial parent has every right to file a motion with the help of an attorney according to the New York State DCSE. Parents who aren’t working, those who are in jail and those who are disabled are obligated to pay support. In situations where the absent parent is incarcerated or can prove a minimal income, then the support payment is adjusted to a state minimum. At times, the custodial parent might need to prove that the absent parent is the biological parent of the child. The absent parent can request this proof.

The Income Shares Model for Child Support Calculation

In New York, the income shares model is used to calculate child support awards. This model works on the basis of the idea that a child should get the same proportion of parental income that they would have received if the parents had remained together. Therefore, the guidelines use both parents’ incomes in the calculation and the percentages remain the same irrespective of the parents’ level of income.

The Formula for Child Support

Guidelines in Manhattan for Child Support consist of fixed percentages of gross income.  They vary only by the number of children.  They are as follows:

  1. 17% of the combined parental income if there is 1 child;
  2. 25% of the combined parental income when there are 2 children;
  3. 29% of the combined parental income when there are 3 children;
  4. 31% of the combined parental income when there are 4 children; and
  5. No less than 35% of the combined parental income if there are 5 children.

Child Support and Step-Parents

In the event that the absent parent is a step-parent, then support is only ordered if the amount would help to prevent the child from receiving any kind of public assistance. Once the marriage is dissolved, then the step-parent typically doesn’t have any financial responsibility for the child. An Order of Filiation can be filed by either parent and establishes the legal biological relationship to a child as there are some issues where one person is listed on the birth certificate and another person is the biological parent. If the father of a child signed an Acknowledgment of Paternity when the child was born, then the order isn’t required. Even if the parent signed the birth certificate, there is no legal claim unless the acknowledgment is signed or the order proves that the child is indeed the absent parent’s. If the parent, which is the father in most cases, objects to the results of the order, then a DNA test is typically ordered to prove paternity.

After The Hearing

When all of the paperwork is processed and a designated amount has been established, then there will be a review of how the custodial parent wants to receive the payments and when the payments will be made. Most of the time, payments are ordered to be made so that they follow the pay schedule of the absent payor. A custodial parent who has a child on PA usually has to sign over rights to get child support in order to get the public assistance.

Changes and Modifications of Child Support Orders

There is a presumption that the correct amount of support has been awarded in any hearing for child support in the state of New York. You would be able to overcome this presumption if you need to by a written finding that the support (as determined by the guidelines) is inappropriate or unjust under the circumstances. You have a right to request a change in the order before it’s in place. The courts will decide whether to reduce or increase the amount payable.

After a child support order is in place, you are permitted to file for a modification based on any major changes in circumstances.  Some common situations include losing your job or relocation. In addition, the legislation requires an automatic review for cost of living adjustments every 2 years.

What Happens If The Payment Isn’t Made?

Unfortunately, some absent parents who are required to pay child support will let their payments get as far behind as they can before being issued a warning. Manhattan normally stays on top of late payments and sends out a warning before taking the payor to court. If the payor continues to avoid sending in support payments, then the payment can be automatically taken from a payroll or government check. If this option doesn’t work, then the payor would likely go to jail.

An attorney can assist by filing child support documents so that payments can be received. An attorney can also provide assistance with enforcement when child support payments are not made in a timely manner.

When couples divorce and children are involved, it makes a tough situation even tougher. This is especially true when it comes to the issue of child support, which inevitably will have both spouses disagreeing as to how much money will be needed to support the children. Because this is a topic that will always have emotions running high, it’s extremely important to enlist the services of Manhattan child support attorneys who have many years of experience handling difficult cases such as these. In doing so, you’ll find yourself having a knowledgeable legal professional who can negotiate terms for you that will be fair and equitable, allowing both you and your child to maintain a reasonable standard of living.

Calculating Child Support
Because child support payments are such a delicate issue in most divorce proceedings, calculating these payments must be done following strict guidelines. Fortunately, New York State has guidelines in place that make this process much easier for divorcing couples. Some of the criteria used to calculate child support payments include the income of each parent, how many children will need to be supported by the custodial parent, any medical needs of the children that require treatment or medications, and if there are healthcare costs for the children that may not be covered by insurance. While these details can be worked out in court hearings, it’s often best if both parents, along with their attorneys, can sit down and negotiate child support payment agreements before heading to court. By doing so, they can often have more flexibility regarding the terms of the agreement, making it more likely the non-custodial spouse will be better able to make their payments on a regular basis. For additional information about calculating child support, visit www.divorceattorneynyc.com/nyc-child-support-lawyers/.

Failing to Pay Child Support
Even though a non-custodial parent may be ordered by a court to pay child support each month, that may not happen for a variety of reasons. Whether that involves losing a job and not having the money to make the payments, or simply choosing to not make the payments because they feel as if the payment amount is excessive, the fact remains that the court expects the payments to be made on a regular basis. When this doesn’t happen, the non-custodial parent can be held in contempt of court, regardless of the reasons why the payments have not been made. While only missing one or two payments may result only in a warning from the court, multiple missed payments that accumulate into thousands of dollars can lead to possible jail time. To ensure child support makes its way to the child who needs it, courts have the authority to use a non-custodial parent’s tax refunds, gambling winnings, public assistance income, and other income sources to ensure payments are made. In some cases, the court may modify the child support agreement to make it easier for the non-custodial parent to make payments. However, in all situations, back support will still need to be paid. More information about this can be found at www.berkbot.com/practice-areas/child-support/.

Terminating a Child Support Order
In some instances, a parent will want to have a child support order terminated. However, many parents make the mistake of thinking these orders terminate on their own when the child reaches age 21, which is the maximum age in which a parent is legally required to provide financial support to a child. But since these orders do not automatically terminate, a parent must work through their attorney to ask the court to terminate the order. This is usually done based on a previous agreement the parents have with one another, and in most cases is granted by the court.

How an Attorney Can Help
If you are not receiving child support payments that have been ordered by a court, it’s crucial to hire a skilled child support attorney as soon as possible. Unfortunately, many custodial parents try to go this route alone, and that is a huge mistake. Because there are multiple methods attorneys and courts can use to force child support payments to be made, it’s imperative to let legal professionals handle these matters. Whether it’s issuing a summons for the non-custodial parent to appear in court to explain why payments are not being made, or choosing to confiscate tax refunds and other income sources to help make the payments, an experienced child support attorney can be the difference between getting the money you and your child deserve or going without food or medical care.

In divorces and custody battles, one big thing that often comes up is child support. If you are currently involved in a legal matter regarding your child or children, you could be wondering what your rights are in regards to child support. Fortunately, this is something that an attorney from our experienced team of family law lawyers can assist you with.

Child Support

The general definition is child support is an ongoing payment that is made in order to pay for the financial support of a person’s children. Both men and women are expected to pay child support, despite the myth that this is something that is only a man’s responsibility. In general, if you are the person who has custody of the child, you should be the one receiving child support payments. If you are a parent who does not have custody of your children, then you should be making child support payments to the custodial parent. Of course, every situation is different, so if you want to ensure that your child support case is being handled the right way, you’ll probably want to meet with a lawyer who can guide you through the system and help you ensure that your rights are being respected.

Child Support Laws in New York

In New York State, child support can be paid in several different ways. Not only are non-custodial parents generally expected to make cash payments to help provide support for their children, but they may also be required to provide health insurance, payments to help cover the cost of child care and payments to help cover medical-related expenses. The family court will determine how much child support and what types of child support you will be expected to pay. Since circumstances can and often do change throughout the course of a child’s childhood, you may have to return to court at some point or another so that adjustments can be made to the child support order.

How an Attorney Can Help You

If you are the custodial parent of your child and if you have not been receiving child support, then you might have found that providing ample support for your child is difficult or impossible. This may also be the case if you are receiving child support payments but if you do not feel that they are sufficient. Luckily for you, the law is on your side. However, it can be challenging to handle matters of child support on your own, particularly if you do not have any experience with the legal system and matters of family law. Fortunately, one of our attorneys can work with you to help you get the child support that you are entitled to.

On the flip side, if you are a non-custodial parent, you should know that you have rights as well. Even though the law states that you are required to pay child support to help provide financial support for your children, you should only be required to pay a reasonable amount. If you have been having trouble making your child support payments and are facing legal issues because of it, we can help. We can also help you if you feel that your child support payments are too high.

In either situation, you can call us to set up a consultation. Someone from our experienced legal team will sit down to talk to you about your situation. Then, we can help you ensure that your family law court case is being handled in a fair and just way. Along with helping with child support, one of our experienced attorneys can help with other matters related to your children as well, such as child custody. We also help individuals with divorces, alimony cases and other cases related to family law.


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I was hesitant to hire the Spodek Law Group. I read reviews and knew they have a great reputation. However, I thought I would spend money and not see or speak to my attorney. From the beginning to end of my case Todd and the entire staff were available and willing to help. We worked towards and end result that was way above my expectation and Todd delivered. I am forever grateful for patience and long days and night spent working on my case. Thanks Todd and the entire team!
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I'm very satisfied with the services rendered by Todd, Alex and Mary Lou. I whole heartedly recommend Spodek Law Group . I've worked with and have retained other attorneys in the past with Todd's firm being the cream of the crop for many reasons. A very serious legal matter was resolved after a year's hard work and effort. Todd expertly guided me through the process and was able to navigate and make the good journey bearable as well as successful. Mary Lou initially provided excellent assistance before referring my case to Todd. Alex's support was effective and timely. The customer portal (MyCase) is an invaluable communication tool that also kept track of my case. Various aspects of my case were explained and there were several options provided but I made the final decision of how the case would be handled. The legal fee was reasonable considering the effort and amount of work plus it was a flat fee regardless of the length of time required to conclude my case. Todd made himself available to me and we had many scheduled meetings to go over the progress and to discuss the next steps. I felt more confident after many discussions with him. You will not go wrong choosing Spodek Law Group for legal matters.
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