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Manhattan Child Support Attorney

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Child support cases are often more complex than they may appear. Regardless of the side you are on; you need a child support attorney who is:

  • Aggressive when necessary;
  • Skilled and determined;
  • Analytical and driven; and
  • Experienced in all areas of child support litigation.

The child support attorneys at the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C. are ready and able to go to battle for you. We are strong advocates and formidable adversaries in the child support fight. Our goal is to ensure you and your children have the means needed for a strong financial future.

Do not settle for less than you deserve. At the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C., our Manhattan child support lawyers truly care about each client and will represent your child support goals and interests in even the most contentious of cases.

For answers to your most pressing child support questions and an evaluation of your case, call our office today to schedule a meeting with an experienced child support attorney.

Why You Need a Manhattan Child Support Attorney

When couples divorce or a judge enters a paternity order, a child support order also goes into place. Every state has a method to arrive at a child support amount based on physical custody and visitation with the children. Once the court enters a child support order, there are situations where this order is modifiable by the parents, such as significant income changes.

Manhattan child support attorneys can assist at any point in this process, whether the child support order stems from a divorce, paternity, or later modification of an order. Child support attorneys, like those at the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C., aid their clients in every aspect of child support including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Making any child support implementation and adjustment processes more seamless;
  • Explaining your rights as a parent to child support modifications;
  • Pursuing back child support unpaid by a non-custodial parent;
  • Knowing when it is appropriate to deviate from any child support guidelines;
  • Ensuring you understand any rules and regulations involved with legal enforcement of and compliance with child support orders and payments;
  • Assessing existing court cases and clarifying any current child support orders;
  • Calculating upcoming child support payments;
  • Collecting and enforcing child support payments; and
  • Negotiating on your behalf during any child support proceedings.

The Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C. offers all of these services and more. Contact us to discover the difference decades of experience can make in child support negotiations and litigation. We proudly represent clients in Manhattan and the New York City area.

What Is Child Support in Manhattan?

Child support is money one parent pays the other for the purpose of providing financial support to a child or children. Usually, the non-custodial parent pays the custodial parent child support, but it depends on the parents’ income. Child support typically covers the following expenses:

  • Child health insurance and medical costs;
  • Educational expenses; and
  • Childcare.

New York courts may add additional obligations to basic child support payments.

Child support payments end at age twenty-one unless there is another agreement between the parents or the court suspends or terminates the obligation due to:

  • Emancipation of the child;
  • Marriage of the child; or
  • Entry of the child into the armed services.

How Is Basic Child Support Calculated in New York?

New York courts calculate child support based on both parents’ annual income and the number of children they are responsible for. The income guidelines are different for those parents whose combined income falls above or below $154,000 annually.

The court’s basic child support formula for combined incomes under $154,000 annually is as follows:

  • The income of both parents is added together; and
  • That income is multiplied by the appropriate child support percentage (based on the number of children).

Income for the purposes of New York’s child support calculation is “gross income as was or should have been reported on the most recent federal income tax return.”

The combined income of both parents is multiplied by the following child support percentages:

  • 17% for one child;
  • 25% for two children;
  • 29% for three children;
  • 31% for four children; and
  • No less than 35% of the combined parental income for five or more children.

New York considers every source of income for child support, including:

  • Workers’ compensation;
  • Pensions;
  • Disability;
  • Unemployment;
  • Social Security;
  • Veteran’s benefits;
  • Fellowships;
  • Stipends; and
  • Annuities.

Public assistance is not income and is deducted from the combined parental income.

Child Support Calculations for Combined Incomes Over $154,000

For combined incomes over $154,000 annually, the court may:

  • Use the same formula as it uses for those incomes under $154,000; or
  • Use the same formula for those incomes under $154,000 for the first $154,000 of the parents’ combined income, then decide how much of the remainder to award after considering many factors.

These factors include:

  • The financial resources of the child and parents;
  • Any physical, emotional, or other special needs of the child;
  • The standard of living the child would have enjoyed if not for the divorce;
  • Any tax consequences to the parents;
  • Non-monetary contributions of the parents to the care and well-being of the child;
  • Either parents’ educational needs;
  • Gross inequities in parental income; and
  • Other children’s needs for whom the non-custodial parent is supporting that are not a party to this action.

If a parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, the court will impute an income by examining past employment and wage history to determine an approximate amount that the parent would or could be earning. Without any income history, the court will likely impute a parent’s income at minimum wage.

What if a Parent Cannot Pay Their Child Support Obligation?

If a parent is unable to pay, the court may reduce that parent’s child support payments if those payments are found unjust, inappropriate, or a reduction is appropriate due to economic hardship. The Petitioner must request the court for the modification.

The Petitioner must file the request for modification with the same court that entered the original support order. The legal standard the Petitioner must meet to file and qualify for a modification is a material change in circumstances or the ability to pay child support.

Can Child Support Be Waived?

Parents can agree to circumvent New York’s child support guidelines. However, both parents must agree in writing to do so.

Any child support waiver needs to state the following:

  • The basic child support obligation per the guidelines;
  • The reasons why the court should adopt the alternative agreement;
  • That the parents knowingly waive their rights and obligations under the law.
  • No deviation from the guidelines is valid unless and until approved by the court. Before agreeing to any deviation it is best to consult with an experienced Manhattan child support attorney.

Contact a Manhattan Child Support Attorney

At the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C., our New York divorce attorneys will protect your rights in any deviation and make sure any child support order is fair and accurately calculated. Our firm can also stand for you if you need a child support modification or enforcement of a support order.

Call us today from Manhattan or any of the five boroughs. We will gladly assist you in scheduling an appointment with one of our child support professionals.