Commack Child Support Lawyer
Supporting children financially is a legal obligation imposed on parents from the time their children are born until they reach adulthood. This obligation exists whether the parents are married or unmarried, so in the case of any divorce, child custody dispute, paternity proceeding or other family law matter involving children, the issue of child support will likely need to be decided either through a negotiated agreement between the parents or litigated in court. Commack family law attorney Joshua Adam Kittenplan can provide valuable advice and representation in this process, making sure your children are properly supported and that your rights and needs are respected along the way. Call our experienced Commack child support lawyer to discuss how the issue of child support should play out in your New York divorce or child custody matter.
How Child Support Works in New York
As noted above, both parents are responsible for financially supporting their children. This obligation requires providing both financial support and health insurance until the child turns 21 years old. The child support obligation can end earlier if the child becomes emancipated by getting married, becoming self-supporting, or joining the military. On the other hand, the child support obligation can last until age 26 for a child with a disability.
Typically, child support will be paid from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent. In New York, a custodial parent is one who has physical custody of the child more than 50% of the time. If the parents have joint custody and split their time with the children equally, then the parent with the higher income will typically be required to cover at least the costs of health care and daycare for the children.
New York has established guidelines to calculate the amount of child support that should be paid from the non-custodial parent to the parent with primary custody. These guidelines take into account the incomes of both parents, each parent’s custodial timeshare, and the number of children to be supported. The parents’ combined incomes are multiplied by a percentage depending on the number of children being supported, from 17% for one child to 35% for five children or more. That product is then divided based on each parent’s net income, arriving at a monthly support amount to be paid to the custodial parent.
How the Law Office of Joshua Adam Kittenplan Can Help With Child Support Calculations
Calculating child support should be a straightforward matter, but it can easily become complex and overwhelming. Each parent must complete a Statement of Net Worth setting out all their income, expenses, assets, property and debts. If a parent is self-employed, unemployed, or underemployed, figuring out the right income level to report can be complicated. If they own a business, valuing that business appropriately can be highly complex, as there are several different ways to value a business for different purposes. If one or both parties own investment property or are compensated through more exotic forms of compensation such as stock options or profit-sharing, expert assistance might be needed to arrive at a fair valuation. Just making sure every item is accounted for can be a daunting task of its own.
Our experienced child support lawyer can help in this process by ensuring that both you and your co-parent are reporting all income and expenses, property and debts completely and accurately. If one parent tries to undervalue their income or hide property to avoid paying more in child support, it’s the child who suffers. Whether mistakes are made deliberately or unintentionally, it’s not fair to the kids. The Law Office of Joshua Adam Kittenplan can provide technical assistance, including using forensic accountants or other experts as needed, to make sure child support is calculated correctly by you and your child’s other parent.
It’s also important to know that the amount calculated by using the guidelines is presumed to be correct, but nothing prevents the parents from agreeing on a different amount. So long as the judge believes the amount is in the best interests of the children, the court can approve a different amount agreed to by the parties. We are happy to work with parents to negotiate an arrangement that meets the unique needs of your family. You know your family’s needs better than an impersonal formula; we can help you make sure you are considering all necessary factors and present a plan the court will accept as being in the best interests of your children.
Finally, one parent could argue that the guidelines amount is unjust or inappropriate and ask the court to approve a different amount, even over the objection of the other parent. If you are seeking or opposing a deviation from the guidelines amount in a contested hearing, you need strong representation on your side from an experienced litigator who knows how to marshal the factual evidence and legal arguments that will prove your position in court.
Contact the Law Office of Joshua Adam Kittenplan Today
For practical advice, expert assistance and effective legal representation when it comes to determining child support in your New York divorce, paternity case or child custody dispute, trust the experienced legal professionals at the Law Office of Joshua Adam Kittenplan. Call our experienced Commack child support lawyer today.