Family Law and matrimonial issues are the two of the most highly charged and contentious cases in the New York State Court System. The New York Family Court and the Supreme Court, Matrimonial Part are the only two courts mandated to hear Family Law cases pertaining child custody, divorce, child support, and visitation. As a rule of law, parents, whether married, divorced, separated or never married, have a legal responsibility to support their children emotionally and financially up to the age of 21 years. The New York Family Law on child support works to ensure that children get the necessary support from non-custodial parents to meet their basic needs, education, medical, and entertainment needs.
Law pertaining child support
The New York State Court System defines child support as the financial support provided by a noncustodial parent in the event of a divorce or separation. The law requires both parents to provide financial support to their children until the age of 21 years. The Family Courts apply the standard of the child’s best interest when determining the amount of child support. Contrary to the misconception that child support is supposed to punish the non-custodial parent, the law is clear that child support caters for the education, medical, entertainment, and basic needs of the child. The amount to be paid is calculated according to a formula contained in the New York State Law known as the Child Support Standard Act. In addition to the act, the state also provides releases the Child Support Standard Chart annually before April 1, to determine the annual child support obligation pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 567 of the Laws of 1989.
The New York Family Law provides innumerable ways of implementing child support. Parents can agree on the amount of child support on a written agreement signed by the hearing magistrate or the court can issue a court order on the same. Where an obliged parent fails to honor the agreement, their state tax refund and bank accounts may be apprehended, revocation of driver’s license, denial of U.S Passport or mandatory paycheck deductions are enforced.
In New York, child support ends when a child turns the legal age of 21. However, if the child reaches 18, and marries, joins the military, moves from home with the consent of the parents or acquires a permanent job, the law considers them emancipated and self-supporting.
New York State Child Support Attorney
Due to the complexities of child support and the recurrent adjustments, New York State child support lawyers help their clients in dealing with any issues of additional support and modifications. Parents can seek help from a child support lawyer when drafting a child support agreement to ensure it meets all the legal requirements and avoid rejection by the court. In addition, they help in gathering all the necessary documentation for filing a child support petition in court. In the event of a modification arising due to change of circumstances followed by a significant decrease in the amount of income (15%), a child support lawyer offers guidance of the required documentation and personal information to support your contention and advocate for your position in court.
When searching for the right New York Child Support Lawyer, our Spodek Law group will give you the necessary legal support for child support. Our professionals are experienced in New York statutes relating to Family Law.
Is Mediation Less Costly Than Retaining a Lawyer?
Needless to say, when a couple chooses to seek a divorce, the costs to the relationship can be extreme. Along with the couple’s finances being rearranged, the emotional costs to them and any children involved can also be quite high. In order to minimize the emotional as well as the financial costs involved in these situations, more and more couples are turning to mediation to resolve their divorce cases. However, is mediation less costly than retaining a lawyer?
Retaining an Attorney
In divorce cases that are not expected to be amicable and have very complex issues at hand regarding division of property, child custody, child support payments, and other issues, most people are advised to retain an attorney. While these issues can be worked out through mediation, it’s often best to have an attorney on your side who has substantial experience negotiating settlements involving these and other matters. If this route is taken, most people can expect to pay a minimum of $25,000 for the attorney’s services, and even more if the case goes to trial.
For some couples who want to have the services of a lawyer who can work out the terms of their divorce without going to court, a novel approach is having both spouses hire a collaborative lawyer. However, while this is slightly less expensive than traditional litigation, the costs can still be substantial. In addition to using the services of an attorney, each spouse will also be paying for the services of an accountant, divorce coach, child development specialist, and other professionals. Costing an average of $20,000, this approach can sometimes be time-consuming as well as costly.
While focused on cooperation and full disclosure between both spouses, mediation is very similar to a collaborative divorce. However, while both parties are usually encouraged to consult with attorneys as needed throughout the process, the cost of mediation is far less than traditional legal methods. Because the role of attorneys is extremely limited in mediation cases, the overall costs are much lower. On average, a person will pay less than $7,000 for mediation proceedings, making it a far less costly alternative to other negotiation methods.
If both spouses have been ordered by the court to participate in mediation, the good news is that it will be offered free of charge. In these cases, the court will assign a mediator that has been screened and approved by the court, with the mediator often being a retired judge, mental health professional, attorney, or family therapist.
Due to the popularity of mediation across the United States, more and more of the country’s larger cities have created mediation clinics to help those who are having disputes. Like court-ordered mediation, these community-based clinics offer their services free of charge to clients. However, these clinics are recommended only for people who have what are deemed as simple disputes, such as ones between neighbors or landlords and tenants. Therefore, if you are involved in a divorce or other dispute that has numerous issues, it’s best to work with a private mediator or even an attorney.
If you are involved in a divorce that you believe can be resolved in an amicable manner, then the less-costly mediation approach may prove to be one of the best decisions you’ll make. Consider hiring a NYC divorce lawyer today.
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