When a couple have a child together but decide not to continue their relationship, the parent who is going to be taking custody of the child can bring a court action against the other parent for support payments. Under New York State law, regardless of if the parents are together, they are both financially responsible for the child until they come of age. This includes food, housing, clothing, health insurance and other basic necessities.
Court proceedings for the determination of child support can become lengthy and time consuming when the parents do not agree and parents going through this without an attorney to represent them and their interests can end up getting an unfavorable decision from the court. Call now for a free consultation with one of our experienced New York Family law attorneys.
For the most part, child support payments last until the child is 21 years of age. Situations where the payments would end before the child turns 21 would include if the child is married, in the military or self-supporting. At that point, the child would be considered emancipated and the support payments would end. Depending on the situation that is leading up to the request for support, child support can be decided in multiple ways. If the parents are already going through divorce proceedings, the court can order child support during the same proceedings or independent of divorce proceedings or if the parents were never married, the custodial parent can file a support petition in Family Court.
Additionally, the parents can create a written agreement that details their agreement for child support which the court will accept as long as it meets the court’s requirements. In this type of situation, it is still advised to contact an attorney to help draft the document and make sure that it meets the requirements set by the court.
If you already have a child support ruling in place from the court, there are options to be able to have the order modified. There are upward and downward modifications, meaning the one of the parties is requesting the amount of support is requesting an increase or decrease. The parent paying support is able to request downward modifications to a support order if their financial status changes drastically from the time the order was issued.
An example would be in the parent lost their job and became unemployed, unable to find a position that paid the same as their previous position and were forced to take a position that paid substantially less. In this type of situation, they would be unable to maintain the payments as ordered by the court and would be able to request the modification. This can also apply in the reverse, that a parent’s financially status significantly increases in a situation where the parent was previously unemployed or at a lower income level and then becomes employed with a significant salary increase.
While some child support cases can be uncomfortable and lengthy, our experienced team of New York Family law attorneys are here to help you understand the process and help you with your specific needs. Whether it be an initial support order, a modification to an order or overseeing an agreement the two parents have already drawn up, call now for a free consultation.