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New York City Child Support Attorney

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Little girl coloring with her mother After the sometimes grueling process of child custody hearings, the issue of child support will need to be addressed. Even if negotiations have been easy, the topic of money can create tensions in an otherwise peaceful divorce. The law office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C., will be a voice for you in the fight for fair support for you and your children.

Vivien I. Stark has been a practicing family law and matrimonial lawyer in New York City for over thirty years.  Attorney Stark:

  • Serves families within the five boroughs of New York and the surrounding communities;
  • Is an experienced child support lawyer who provides her clients with skilled, dedicated family law representation; and
  • Is well-versed in the laws and guidelines that determine child support in New York.

Reach out to the law office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C., today to discuss the legal options available in your child support case.  Attorney Stark can assist you in a stand-alone child support case or a child custody or divorce matter in which child support is an issue.

How Our New York City Child Support Attorney Can Help

At the law office of Vivien I Stark, P.C., we will assist you with more than a child support calculation.  Attorney Stark will ensure you understand New York’s child support laws, your legal rights under these laws, and how the child support process applies to your unique situation. Having an attorney on your side is even more crucial when the combined adjusted gross income of both parents exceeds $163,000 since the court would then have the discretion to decide how much income is used to determine child support. It is also very important for a parent to be advised as to how child care, medical insurance, private school and other expenses are determined by the court since those expenses are paid in addition to base support and are within the discretion of the court.

Prior to filing a new child support case or child support modification, Vivien I. Stark will address your questions and concerns regarding if and when it is prudent to negotiate a child support payment with your co-parent or take your case before the court.

The law office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C., can also do the following on your behalf:

  • Help you pursue any unpaid child support through the court;
  • Advise you of available deviations or optional add-ons that could aid in your calculation;
  • Assist you with modifications in child custody or visitation that coincide with your child support case;
  • Make sure you are prepared for court and that all of your required proof has been filed with the court; and
  • Negotiate or litigate your case as needed.

Reach out to our office today to schedule your confidential consultation.  Attorney Stark looks forward to discussing her approach to child support cases with you.

Child Support Guidelines in New York

Regardless of custody, a parent should financially support their children. Legally, support is more than a check in the mail. It means financial help for basic needs, like health insurance, medical expenses, educational expenses, and more.

The state of New York bases child support arrangements or guidelines on the combined gross income of both parents.  Gross income is typically determined from the last tax return filed by the parents.  For purposes of child support in New York, any type of payment is considered income, including worker’s comp, pensions, disability, unemployment, etc. Usually, federal aid income will be adjusted to accommodate support payments. State aid public assistance, on the other hand, is not considered income and will be deducted from the combined income total.

When the combined gross income is less than $163,000 per year, the court will multiply the income amount by a percentage per child (i.e., 17% for one, 25% for two). Depending on the parent’s individually contributed income, each will be responsible for a percentage of that number.

If the parents have equal residential custody, the parent earning  the majority of the income will pay child support.. If one parent has more than 50% of residential custody (physical custody), that parent receives child support from the other parent.

For combined parental income over $163,000, the courts will either use this same formula for the total up to that limit or calculate an additional payment amount based on the child’s needs.

If the parents agree on a support amount before being seen by a judge, they have a right to have the judge’s calculations waived. In a divorce case, they will need to submit the plan in writing by way of a stipulation including a significant amount of requiring language as well as a description of why there should be a deviation from the calculations used pursuant to the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA).

Deviations from the Child Support Guidelines in New York

The majority of child support cases in New York successfully follow the state guidelines.  However, there are instances where doing so results in an unjust or inappropriate child support award.  In these cases, the court must follow a specific procedure to deviate from the guidelines.

Any deviation from the guidelines requires the court to create a written decision detailing the reasons and factors for the deviation after considering the following statutory factors:

  • The financial resources of the custodial and non-custodial parents;
  • The physical and emotional health and special needs of the child;
  • The child’s standard of living that would have been enjoyed if the household had not dissolved;
  • Any tax consequences;
  • The non-monetary contributions made by the parents towards the child;
  • The educational needs of each parent;
  • Any substantial disparity of gross incomes between the two parents;
  • The needs and financial obligations that the non-custodial parent has for other children; and
  • Any extraordinary visitation expenses incurred by the non-custodial parent that reduce the expenses of the custodial parent.

Additionally, the court may consider any other factors it finds relevant to the case.

Termination of Child Support in New York

In New York, the parent who spends less than 50% of the overnights with the child is considered the non-custodial parent and must pay child support until the child reaches the age of 21.  This does not apply if the child is 18 years and older and either:

  • Gets married;
  • Joins the armed forces;
  • No longer lives with the custodial parent; or
  • Obtains full-time, self-supporting employment.

However, a custodial parent may pursue child support for adult children with disabilities until the age of 26.

Modification of Child Support in New York

Occasionally, child support agreements and orders may need to be modified. A parent may lose a job or have an otherwise drastic decrease in income, in which case a child support modification hearing will be warranted. As with all modification hearings, the parent will need to be seen before a judge or support magistrate and prove the circumstances that justify the change.

Either parent may file for a child support modification.  However, that parent must prove one of the following:

  • There has been a substantial change of circumstances since the last order;
  • The previous order was issued over three years ago; or
  • There is a parental income change of 15% or more.

Failure to Pay Child Support in New York

If a parent misses child support payments, the other parent may pursue past due payments in court.  The court will decide whether the parent’s nonpayment of child support was willful or non-willful.

When a parent’s nonpayment of child support is willful, they have or should have had the ability to pay but chose otherwise.  This results in a money judgment in the amount of the child support owed and possible incarceration of up to six months.

Non-payment of child support due to lack of ability to pay is non-willful.  A money judgment is rendered in the amount of child support owed.

Failure to pay child support  in New York can also lead to the suspension of a parent’s driver’s, professional and recreational licenses.

Contact an Experienced New York City Child Support Attorney

As a New York City divorce attorney whose practice has been dedicated to marital and family law, Vivien I. Stark has experience representing parents on both sides of child support cases. She has an in-depth understanding of the difficulties both parents face and provides exceptional representation for either.

If you are having trouble deciding on child support amounts, feel that you cannot pay what has been asked of you, or are not receiving the amount you should be, contact the law office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C. today. Our New York City child support lawyer is experienced in handling all legal matters and will represent you with your child’s best interest as the priority.

To discuss your needs, please contact us online or call us at (212) 349-1600 to schedule an in-office, virtual or telephone consultation.

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