Guidance from Compassionate Child Custody and Support Attorneys
Our knowledgeable and compassionate child custody and child support attorneys in New York and Connecticut understand the long-term impact that these outcomes have on families. We make every effort to maintain the close parent-child relationship whenever possible and appropriate.
Understanding Child Support
All parents are legally obligated to financially support their children up to age 21 in New York. Whether or not a child’s parents are married has no impact on the parent’s responsibility to pay child support. The parent with whom the child spends less time, will be required to pay child support to the “custodial” parent.
Obtaining Child Support
There are child support standards which are used to determine a parent’s child support obligation. These guidelines are in place to help ensure there is statewide fairness and uniformity in calculating child support. These standards apply to parents across all income levels.
Our child support lawyers regularly help parents determine child support, negotiate child support and, when applicable, obtain financial support.
Making Child Support Payments
After a child support hearing concludes in Family Court, the presiding Support Magistrate will make a determination of how much child support is owed and set a payment schedule. The parent making payments will generally do so directly to the other parent. Alternatively, payments may be made to the Support Collections Unit which serves as an intermediary party.
Failure to pay child support can result in revocation of professional licenses, revocation of a driver’s license, or seizure of bank accounts. In severe cases, willful nonpayment can even result in jail time.
Our knowledgeable and compassionate child custody attorneys in New York and Connecticut understand the long-term impact that custody decisions leave on families.
Modifying or Terminating Child Support
If either party is unhappy with the initial determination of child support, they may file an objection. Objections must be filed within 30 days of the court order.
If there are significant changes in circumstances that warrant a change in child support, this issue can be revisited. A parent’s loss of a job or significant raise may be reasons to seek a reduction or increase in child support.
Child support typically continues until a child reaches the age of 21. There are exceptions that apply to children under 21 who are married, support themselves, or are in the military.
Understanding Child Custody Matters
The issue of custody is divided into two categories: legal and physical. The court may decide to grant either sole or joint custody in one or both of these categories.
In New York, the age of majority is 18. When parents who have children under the age of 18 divorce, separate, or do not live together, the court may be petitioned to issue a custody order.
Legal custody pertains to the right to participate in major decisions in a child’s life. Religious upbringing, education, and medical treatment are examples of issues that fall under legal custody.
Physical custody concerns where the child will live. When a parent is granted sole physical custody, the child will spend the majority of their time living with that parent. Physical custody may also be shared so that the child will spend the same amount of time living with both parents.
The court looks to the best interests of the child to determine child custody. As such, the question of who will be awarded custody is largely determined based on the facts of each individual case before the court. The court will carefully evaluate factors such as:
- The child’s wishes
- The health of the parents
- Domestic violence
- Parenting skills
- Drug or substance abuse
- Stability and quality of the parent’s living environment
- The parents’ work schedules
- Location of any siblings
- The willingness and ability to support the child’s relationship with the other parent
Changing a Custody Order
Custody orders are not necessarily permanent. Parties are permitted to file a petition to modify the terms of an existing custody agreement. Parties typically pursue modifications to custody orders when there has been a significant change in their situation.
If you have questions about an existing child support arrangement, pursuing child support, or child custody in New York and Connecticut, our experienced lawyers are here to help.
Call our office for more information or to schedule a consultation.
Taking Your Next Steps
Step 1 : What is our process?
Step 2 : Are you ready?
Are you ready?
There is no commitment to proceed with your case when you first meet with our team. We are here to offer as much information as possible so that you can make the right decision. We’ve provided a checklist to ensure that you get the most out of your conversation.
Step 3 : What to expect?
What to expect?
During your consultation, we will listen closely to your situation, needs, and desires to get a better understanding of your case. We will also provide any relevant information that may help you proceed with making a more informed decision moving forward.
Step 4 : What Happens After?
Resources for Collaborative Divorce to Help Guide You
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Tell us about your situation and how we can help.