If you are facing a child support battle in Suffolk County, the first thing that you should do is to hire a skilled and experienced lawyer who specializes in child support cases. Our law firm has some of the most experienced and successful family court lawyers in the state of New York. With winning records spanning decades, hiring us can give you the edge you need to prevail in a difficult situation.
Child support cases in the state of New York are handled exclusively by the Family Court system. This is a unique and challenging area of jurisprudence that relies heavily on case law. Although there is a body of statutory law that provides some of the framework within which the Family Courts operate, such as New York’s Domestic Relations Laws, the vast majority of controlling law in the Family Courts is reliant on the existing body of relevant case law.
This means that, at a minimum, the lawyer you hire to represent you in Family Court should have years of experience trying these types of cases. Ideally, they should be a pure in family law.
Never underestimate the seriousness of child support hearings
One of the most frequent problems that we see is a client who has been thrust into an untenable situation by the Family Courts, which often demand that clients pay amounts that leaves them with little to live on themselves or amounts that they simply have no way of paying at all. These situations can quickly spiral out of control, especially when the client has failed to adequately communicate their position with the courts.
By far, the time to make an argument for reduced child support is when the court first makes its ruling. However, even if you have been saddled with child support in amounts that you cannot afford, there are still options to have your burden lightened.
Unfortunately, many non-custodial parents, mostly fathers but, increasingly, also mothers, find out the hard way just how important it is to get themselves adequately represented in child support cases the first time around.
There are a number of reasons why child support rulings can be some of the most serious and consequential that any court hands down, even more so than major criminal convictions or decisions in major lawsuits. This is because both of the parents will have any child support decision binding on them until the child turns 21. And in the state of New York, non-payment of child support is viewed as a criminal matter once it surpasses a certain level. This means that many non-custodial parents will end up spending months in jail over the course of the 20 plus years following the initial court order.
But when obligors begin falling far behind on payments, things can really get nasty. In New York, the mere fact that the child has turned 21 does not absolve the non-custodial parent from paying any back child support. In practice, this means that there are parents who spend time in jail 25 or even 30 years after the initial child support order was handed down. This is not the ideal way to lives your life.
How can an attorney help?
In short, an expert attorney who knows the child support system can avoid almost all of these outcomes. The first area in which an attorney will focus is to try to come to an out-of-court settlement. If this is possible, it instantly takes criminal penalties off the table and reduces payments owed by up to half.
If you are going through a child support hearing, call us today.