Child support is money paid from one parent to the other to help pay for the basic needs of a child, such as: food clothing and shelter, as well as health care expenses, child care expenses, and educational expenses. In general, child support payments are paid to the custodial parent by the non-custodial parent. Normally, the obligation to pay child support continues until the child is 21 years of age.
Our attorneys represent both mothers and fathers in Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Westchester. While usually basic child support is based upon the standard guidelines, an attorney can help you present the best case possible whether you are seeking child support or responding to a petition for child support. In particular, a New York child support attorney understands the intricacies of the legal system and can explain the law and the process clearly to you. Additionlly, our child support lawyers are experienced in organizing and presenting evidence to the court in a clear and concise manner on more complicated determinations that involve health care expenses, child care expenses, and deviations from the basic guidelines.
It is critical that you present the best case possible when the original order of support is being determined because once a child support payment is set, it becomes significantly more difficult to increase or reduce the payment amount. In fact, once a child support amount is ordered, it can only be modified if the court finds that there is a change in circumstance that would justify such a modification.
Child support can be ordered by either the New York Supreme Court Matrimonial Division or New York Family Court.
New York has a formula (called a “guideline”) for calculating basic child support payments. The guidelines are generally followed in most cases unless there is reason for deviation. Reasons for deviation include the financial resources of both parents, the physical and emotional health of the child, tax consequences, and non-monetary contributions made by both parents.