Westchester Child Support Lawyer
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.
If you live in Westchester or the surrounding area and have questions concerning child support, call our dedicated firm today to learn how one of our knowledgeable family law attorneys in Westchester may be able to assist you.
Obtaining Child Support
In Westchester, as in the rest of New York, 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. The primary factors that establish a parent’s support obligation are annual income and the number of children. 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.
To initiate a child support action, a petition must be filed with the Family Court. The court will ask the parents to provide detailed financial information, including tax returns, pay stubs, and proof of income. Demonstrating proof of expenses such as rent, food, and child care will generally also be an essential element of a child support matter.
Not all child support cases are straightforward. Although many parents are able and willing to provide financial assistance to their children, some parents are resistant to requests for child support. Challenging issues that typically arise during the course of a child support matter include locating a noncustodial parent or determining paternity.
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.
There are serious consequences if one party violates a court order fails to make the required child support payments. Failing 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.
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.
Legal Guidance from Experienced Child Support Attorneys
If have questions about an existing child support arrangement or about pursuing child support in Westchester, a child support lawyer at our firm would be glad to assist you. Call today to schedule a consultation.