Divorce settlements can be contentious even when there are no children involved. When children are involved, the potential for conflict escalates dramatically, which is why it is imperative to secure the counsel of a qualified and competent New York City divorce attorney from the onset of your case. Though you may be tempted to get your divorce over with as quickly as possible, it's important to remember that the terms of a settlement can significantly affect you and your children for years to come. If you don't take the necessary steps to protect the long-term interests of your family, who will?
Though child support settlements often go hand-in-hand with divorce proceedings, it is not always the case. Both parents are responsible for the financial and emotional well-being of their children until the age of 21. This is true whether of not the parents are married.
Generally speaking, the noncustodial parent must provide:
State regulations for child support are covered in Article 4 of the New York Code – Family Court (FCT. Law § 413).
When making a determination about how much money a parent will be expected to pay in child support, the court will use a standard guideline that has been set out by the state. This calculation is based on both parents' adjusted gross income and the number of children involved. When applying this formula, the court will combine both parents' yearly income and multiple that number by the appropriate child support percentage – which will depend on the number of children being taken into consideration.
Per New York law, the percentages used to calculate child support are as follows:
For example, let's say that you have primary physical custody of your two children. You make $40,000, while the other parent makes $60,000. Together, your combined income would be $100,000. After multiplying this number by the appropriate percentage (25%), you would be left with $25,000. Since the other parent makes up 60% of the combined income, they would be responsible for paying 60% – which equals $15,000. As a result, they would make child support payments over a year that add up to $15,000.
If you are unable to meet your child support obligations, either due to a sudden job loss or unexpected medical expenses, there are steps that you can take to petition the court for a child support modification; however, you must be able to show that there has been a significant change in circumstances. Only the court can modify the original order, so it is important that you address the issue as soon as possible. If you continue to miss payments, the other parent could take legal action to enforce the order.
Whether you are the primary caregiver for your children and don't have sufficient earning power to meet all of their financial needs or you are the primary wage earner and are concerned about being over-charged for child support, our NYC child support attorney can help. You need a reliable and accessible divorce lawyer in New York City who will faithfully represent your interests to the court. This is exactly what you'll find at Peter L. Cedeño & Associates, P.C. Our knowledgeable and trustworthy staff has a tremendous track record, as evidenced by our client reviews.