If you are a non-custodial parent facing child support proceedings in Manhattan, the most important thing for you to do is to hire a skillful and experienced lawyer in this area of legal practice. Our law firm employs attorneys with decades of experience in the New York Family Courts, the competent legal jurisdiction for all child support and custody cases.
With the right legal team, there is a good chance that your case will be able to be resolved with an outcome that you will find satisfactory. If you are the biological non-custodial parent of a child, it is likely that you will end up paying some form of child support. But that amount depends on a large number of factors. An experienced lawyer can help you minimize the amount that you owe and ensure that you are not required to meet financial obligations that will leave you without the means to survive.
Every week, we see non-custodial parents, mostly but not exclusively fathers, who find themselves with child support orders that they could not ever hope to reasonably meet. This is almost invariably due to these parents not taking their original child support proceedings seriously.
The truth is that court order for child support is one of the most serious and life-altering judgments that any court passes down. For many non-custodial parents, a child support order will affect them far more profoundly and for far longer than even a lengthy stay in a state prison would.
There are two reasons that, should you find yourself involved in child support proceedings, you should drop everything and focus on achieving the best possible resolution. The first is that court orders regarding child support are legally binding until the child turns 21 years of age. This means that, in the case of an infant, you will be looking at two decades of having the court and its enforcement officers looking over your shoulder, always with the direct threat of jail hanging over your head.
The second reason that you should take child support hearings seriously is that, once the court becomes involved in your case and an order is issued, the debts generated never go away until they are paid in full. One particularly nasty consequence of this is that we see many fathers, whose children are well past the age of 21, who are being sentenced to lengthy jail stays for back child support payments. This is simply due to the fact that these men still owe fees and principal on their child support five or even ten years after their child has reached the age of majority. And they are still being sent to jail for these debts.
For these reasons, it is imperative that you get a competent lawyer on your side as soon as the legal process begins. A good lawyer can help you to negotiate a fair payment that doesn’t leave you without the necessary funds to survive or live a reasonable lifestyle. A good lawyer can also help to uncover any mitigating factors, such as money earned by the custodial parent that may have gone unreported or under-reported throughout the hearing.
Both parents are legally responsible for the financial care of their children. Good counsel can ensure that both parents are equally towing their own weight, not just relying on confiscating the livelihood of the non-custodial parent.
With a skilled lawyer who knows their way around the Family Courts, as if by second nature, you can maximize the chance that your case will be satisfactorily resolved.
Manhattan family courts settle several different issues pertaining to divorce and one of those issues has to deal with the care of any children in the family. When a couple gets divorced, the courts will likely determine child custody and, while support may be another issue, it is related to the matter of support. The goal is to provide the children with the best living situation, while ensuring both parents are providing the financial support to ensure each child’s needs are met.
Requesting Child Support
This is a court proceeding that can be initiated separately, or as a part of a divorce or custody hearing. While we often assume that the parent with sole custody is requesting child support payments, that’s no longer the only situation in which this type of hearing is requested. Even if parents share custody equally, one parent may request child support from the other parent to help ensure the child receives the same quality of care in both homes.
Additionally, a noncustodial parent may also request a child support hearing. By asking a judge to mandate support, the noncustodial parent will have proof that he or she has been contributing to the financial support of the child. This type of arrangement will help, if that parent wants to request visitation or shared custody of the child. By establishing a court-ordered pattern of child support payments, the parent is more likely to obtain a custody arrangement.
Regardless of the reasons for requesting a child support decree, this type of proceeding is complex for both parties. A family law attorney with experience in both child custody and child support cases can best represent you at court. He will know how to ensure your rights are protected and can improve your chances of obtaining a fair judgment.
How is Child Support Determined in Manhattan?
The court uses a mathematical equation to determine how much money each parent should be contributing toward each child’s upbringing. The numbers used in that equation will vary based upon several factors, including each parent’s income and the number of children concerned in the situation. There is a specific percentage applied to the formula, based on the number of children. This is known as the “child support percentage” and is multiplied by the total income for each parents.
In Manhattan, the child support percentages are as follows:
So, for a couple with a combined income of $50,000 and only one child, the formula for determining child support would look like: $50,000 x .17 = $8,500. Another formula would then be used to determine how much of that $8,500 each parent must pay. For instance, if one parent contributes 20% of the $50,000, that parent would be responsible for contributing $3,400 in child support. The parent earning 60% of that sum would be responsible for paying $5,100 in child support, divided into 12 monthly payments.
Additionally, child support payments go into a state fund, which submits the monthly payments to the parent receiving the support payments. This ensures there’s a record of how many payments have been submitted and received. There is the option for parents to agree to have payments submitted directly to the parent receiving support, but many family law attorneys caution against this practice. When the state is cut out of the process, the paper trail is eliminated and it becomes harder to verify which payments have been made. The family court system sets up special child support accounts to help families keep track of child support payments and it’s often in your best interests to make use of them.
Whether you’re seeking to set up a new child support schedule or trying to modify an existing arrangement, hiring a family law attorney can help you prove your case. A lawyer experienced in handling child support decrees can ensure your child is cared for, while protecting your own rights and assets. Where parents find it difficult to get along under the best of circumstances, working through an attorney can help the process progress more smoothly, as well.