Garden City Child Support Lawyer

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In divorce cases and in situations where the parents never married, it is common the parent who does not have primary physical custody of the child is required to pay monthly child support to the custodial parent.

Child support payments are used to cover expenses related to the basic needs of the child, including food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and schooling.

After the relationship of the parents ends, it is the responsibility of both parties to ensure that the child has continued and appropriate care. For a noncustodial parent, this usually means paying child support as ordered by the court.

In cases that involve joint physical custody, the costs related to raising the child are shared by both parents and based on their respective incomes.

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The family court does not take into consideration how much visitation time the noncustodial parent gets, whether they have a close relationship with their child, or if they have only met the child a few times. The court’s main priority is the best interests of the child, and this means the noncustodial parent is responsible to provide financial support for their child, regardless of any other circumstances.

How is child support determined in New York?

In the majority of Garden City cases, the amount of support to be paid is based on the combined annual income of the parents and the number of children they had together. The noncustodial parent will then be responsible to pay this amount to the custodial parent each month, to help cover the needs and expenses of the children.

In general, the state uses a basic formula to determine how much child support is to be paid:

  1. One Child - 17% of the combined income
  2. Two Children - 25% of the combined income
  3. Three Children – 29% of the combined income
  4. Four Children – 31% of the combined income
  5. Five or more Children – at least 35% of the combined income

The court may also order the noncustodial parent to pay an additional amount to cover any reasonable health costs for the child and to help pay for child care if the custodial parent must work or attend school. Some parents may also be ordered to assist in paying for their child's education.

The court has to make a choice when the parents' combined annual income exceeds $136,000. In such cases, the judge will decide whether to use the basic formula for the entire income, or if they will use the formula for the first $136,000, and then choose how much additional child support is to be paid.

When a state court determines the specific amount of child support to be paid, they take several factors into account, including:

  • Both parents' financial resources
  • Both parents' standard of living prior to the divorce
  • The child's educational needs
  • The mental and physical health of the child
  • The cost of health insurance
  • The existence of children outside the marriage

Can Parents Agree To No Child Support?

Yes, in some cases if you and your spouse are able to come to an agreement on how you want to handle your child support issue, you may waive the traditional New York child support method. However, in order to do this, both parties must sign a legal document stating what the basic child support obligation would have been and reasons as to why you are opting for a different obligation instead. Both parties must sign the agreement.

It’s also important to have a professional child support lawyer review the agreement before signing to ensure that both parties are fairly represented and that the child’s best interests are still being taken into account.

Caring and Effective Legal Help for Parents

When you are trying to reach an agreement on child support terms in your divorce case, it is to your benefit to have the assistance of an experienced child support lawyer in Garden City.

The attorneys at Jonathan E. Edwards P.C. possess over two decades of law experience. We are available to help you understand your rights regarding child support, as well as what you should expect to pay or receive in the aftermath of your divorce.

With our assistance, you will have an improved chance of reaching a child support agreement that meets the financial needs of you and your child. Contact a Garden City child support attorney from our office who can help you pursue a fair resolution to child support issues.