Child support in New York State is designed to ensure that children receive the financial support they need from both parents. Whether you’re just starting the process or need to modify an existing agreement, understanding the factors involved and having a skilled child support lawyer by your side can make a significant difference. Contact Lacy Katzen LLP today for assistance.
Why You Need a New York Child Support Lawyer
While the above provides a general overview, each case is unique. A skilled Rochester family lawyer will have an in-depth understanding of the relevant laws and statutes and can effectively represent your case and ensure your child’s needs are met.
Factors Courts Consider When Determining Child Support in NYS
In New York, child support is primarily determined using the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA). This act provides a formula that takes into account both parents’ incomes and the number of children involved. However, it’s not just about numbers. Here are some of the factors the courts consider:
- Both Parents’ Incomes: This includes not just salaries, but also bonuses, dividends, and other income sources.
- Number of Children: The percentage of combined parental income allocated for child support increases with the number of children.
- Healthcare and Childcare Costs: These are essential expenses and are factored into the child support calculation.
- Educational Needs: If a child has special educational needs or attends private school, these costs can be considered.
- Standard of Living: The child’s standard of living before a divorce or separation can play a role in determining support amounts.
Modifying or Terminating Child Support Agreements
Life is unpredictable. Circumstances change, and what was once a fair child support agreement might no longer be viable. Recognizing this, New York State allows for the modification or termination of child support agreements under specific situations.
- Significant Income Changes: If either parent experiences a substantial change in income, it may warrant a modification. This could be due to job loss, promotions, or other significant financial changes.
- Change in Child’s Needs: If a child’s needs change significantly, such as requiring specialized medical care or education, this could be grounds for modification.
- Three Years or 15% Rule: In New York, if it’s been three years since the order was issued or last modified, or if either parent’s income has changed by 15% or more, a review can be requested.
- Emancipation of the Child: Typically, child support ends when the child turns 21. However, if the child becomes self-supporting, enters the military, gets married, or passes away before that age, the support may be terminated earlier.
- Mutual Agreement: Both parents can agree to modify the child support amount. However, it’s essential to ensure that any changes are in the child’s best interest and are approved by the court.
Contact Lacy Katzen LLP
Remember, child support decisions impact the well-being of your child. It’s not just about finances; it’s about ensuring they have the resources they need to thrive. If you have questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to seek the assistance of a competent Rochester child support lawyer.