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Going Through a Divorce? Here’s How a Child Spousal Support Lawyer Can Help

The American Psychological Association estimates that at least 40 to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, which means that if you’re going through a divorce, you aren’t alone. Marriages end for a variety of reasons, but whether or not your marriage ended on amicable terms, it’s important to realize that a NYC child spousal support lawyer can help you as you go through this process.

Here’s what you need to know.

What is child and spousal support?
If you and your spouse separate, you’ll have to make some tough decisions regarding custody of your child or children. You’ll decide where the child will primary live, as well as how visitation for the other parent will work. Some parents choose to share custody evenly, while others choose to have the child primarily live with one parent and have visitation with the other.
In addition to physical custody, parents will also need to come to an agreement as to how legal custody will be shared.

Sometimes, one parent will receive full physical custody of a child, but the parents will share legal custody. This means that both parents will have a say in where the child goes to school, what religion they are raised in, and how the child is cared for medically.
If you and your former spouse cannot come to an agreement as to how you’ll share custody, the courts will decide this for you. In addition to determining custody arrangements, a judge may also decide as to how child and spousal support payments will work.

When a divorce occurs, one partner may be required to pay alimony (sometimes called spousal support) and child support payments to the other spouse. Typically, the spouse who earns a higher income will pay the other party. If one spouse has full custody of the child, the non-custodial parent will typically pay the primary caregiver of the child. These payments are designed to ensure that the child does not suffer as the result of the divorce. The child should continue to retain the same lifestyle as much as possible, which is why these payments are so important.

How can an attorney help?
If you and your spouse are separating, you may want to speak with an attorney about your options for moving forward. You may choose to have separate attorneys, but some couples choose to share an attorney. If you and your partner are separating on amicable terms, you may find that sharing an attorney is fine.

Your attorney will be able to guide you through:

  • Filing your divorce paperwork
  • Legally separating
  • Custody options
  • Understanding custody payments
  • Separating your assets
  • Receiving counseling as a family

Your NYC child spousal support lawyer can assist you in understanding your options, rights, and obligations during this time. Even if you’ve never gone through a divorce before, you deserve to receive care and attention that helps you make the appropriate choices during this time. The right attorney can guide you through the process and can help ensure you receive the child support and alimony payments you are entitled to as part of your divorce settlement.

How can I find the right attorney?
When you’re ready to separate from your partner, make sure you don’t wait to reach out to an attorney. The right attorney can make an incredible difference in your divorce proceedings. They will help ensure you receive the appropriate information and the right care throughout the entire divorce process.

If you’re concerned about receiving child support or spousal support payments from your former partner, or if you’re the paying party and want to know more about your rights and obligations, don’t wait. Reach out to an attorney who can assist you in determining the best way to move forward.

Child Support Laws in New York
According to New York State Law, it is the responsibility of both parents to financially support their children until they are 21 years old. In addition, child support also requires parents provide their children with health insurance until the child is 21 years old. However, if the child is under 21 years of age and married, in the military, or is self-supporting, the parents are no longer responsible for supporting the child because the Court will see the child as emancipated.

Typically, a noncustodial parent will pay child support to a custodial parent. If the parents were never married to each other, an Acknowledgement of Paternity or Order of Filiation to determine paternity will be required to proceed with a request for child support. It is important to note that even if custodial parents are able to support their children on their own, they can still get child support payments.

If two parents are coexisting with a child, one parent can still request child support if the other parent doesn’t contribute financially to support the child. When the child is in foster care, it is the responsibility of both parents to pay child support.
There are two ways child support can be put in order, which are by a written agreement or a support petition that is filed in Family Court. When two parents sign a written agreement that determines child support, there are a few requirements that must be completed before the court will recognize the agreement.

When an individual doesn’t have a child support order, he or she may file a support petition in Family Court. When an individual already has the child support petition and the other parent will not make payments, a petition can be filed to enforce the payment.

If an individual already has a child support order and wants to alter it, he or she can file a petition in Family Court to amend the order.

How Much Does a Parent Have to Pay for Child Support?
To ensure child support payments are fair, a standard guideline is used to determine how much an individual should pay, which is based on the amount of money an individual earns in a year. An individual will not be ordered to make a payment that is unfair under New York law.

Aside from child support payments, an individual may also have to pay support from the time the child was born. In addition, an individual may also have to pay for medical costs, child care expenses, educational expenses, and more. When an individual’s employer offers health insurance to his or her child, he or she may also be required to provide the child with health insurance coverage if the cost of the insurance is affordable.

The standard guideline that is used to calculate what an individual will pay is based on his or her adjusted gross income and the children that will receive payment. The court will take an individual’s gross adjusted income and apply deductions, such as Social Security, New York City tax, and Medicare, and determine the adjusted gross income. After the court determines an individual’s adjusted gross income, the income will be multiplied by the standard guideline for the number of children receiving payments. The percentages include:
17% for one child
25% for two children
29% for three children
31% for four children
35% or more for five or more children.

If you need help with child support payments in New York, see guidance from an experienced legal expert. An experienced family lawyer can provide individuals with legal expertise and help make the process easier.

A Guide to Retroactive Child Support in New York City
The state of New York’s courts frequently award retroactive child support payments to cover expenses incurred while divorce cases are pending. These payments are not the court-ordered support applied at a later date, and they may be paid in installments or a lump sum. Read on to learn more about retroactive child support and how NYC child support lawyers can help custodial parents collect it.
When Can a Parent Get Retroactive Child Support?
New York’s courts typically award retroactive child support once divorce proceedings are initiated and the custodial parent has assumed responsibility for the child’s daily needs. Here, the non-custodial parent would be required to reimburse the other parent for the months in which the divorce was pending. New York, like many other states, allows parents to collect support back to the date of application, not from the date of its approval. There are two ways to collect:

  • A special, court-ordered award for funds already spent on the child’s needs
  • An award that goes into effect at a date earlier than that of the application

Can A Parent Receive Retroactive Support to the Child’s Birthdate?
Retroactive support payments are backdated to when the custodial parent filed the request or when the divorce proceedings started, not to the child’s birthdate. However, if a custodial parent was receiving public assistance, the Department of Social Services may file a claim against the non-custodial parent for retroactive support going back to the date the child became eligible for services. Also, if a child is born out of wedlock, the custodial parent may bring paternity proceedings in which a non-custodial father will be required to reimburse the mother for pregnancy, childbirth, and recovery expenses.

How Much Retroactive Support Will the Non-Custodial Parent Have to Pay?
Once the family court calculates the amount to be paid, the judge determines how the non-custodial parent will pay without causing financial hardship to either party. New York’s courts typically require non-custodial parents to pay what they are financially able to give, and the award will become effective from the date of application or the date when the children became eligible for public assistance. When the court mandates an amount higher than that recommended by New York’s Child Support Standards Act, it will issue an order adding to the retroactive amount being paid.

Which Expenses Can a Parent Get an Award For?
New York’s courts can grant either parent a special award for the following:

  • The costs of pregnancy and childbirth
  • Funeral expenses for a child who has died
  • Part or all of the cost of raising the child

Awards for childcare costs are based on the child’s needs and the non-custodial parent’s ability to pay. Consult a child support lawyer for help getting what your children deserve.

Will a Retroactive Award Reduce Future Child Support Payments?
A retroactive award doesn’t reduce court-ordered payments that come after the amount is determined and finalized, even if the court requires the support to be paid via installments. However, court-ordered payments might be reduced if the paying parent files a request for modification.

What Happens if Retroactive Child Support Isn’t Paid?
If the New York family court decides that the non-custodial parent must pay the other parent retroactive support payments while the divorce is ongoing, but the non-custodial parent does not make the payments, the other parent may petition the court to garnish the non-paying parent’s wages. New York’s laws hold that support payments take priority over other debts, and failure to make the required payments will result in a contempt of court charge that carries a jail sentence of up to six months. Other possible sanctions include a reduction of future tax refunds, driver’s license suspension, a bad credit report, and passport or professional license denial.

Is It Necessary to Hire a Family Lawyer for Retroactive Child Support Collection?
If a parent is seeking retroactive child support, it is best to consult an experienced family attorney. Consulting a local lawyer can help a custodial parent understand his or her options and navigate the complex legal system. Visit the website for additional details on the firm’s services or call today to schedule a no-obligation initial consultation.

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