In Saratoga County, New York, child support is defined as financial support provided by the both parents. It includes payments based on the parents’ incomes as well as the needs of the child or children. It also includes add-ons for health insurance, child care payments and other payments needed for healthcare that insurance does not cover. Generally, the amount of basic child support is calculated based on the Child Support Standards Act guidelines. Specifically, the CSSA guidelines are based on the parents’ adjusted gross income and the number of children they share. See link: https://www.childsupport.ny.gov/dcse/pdfs/cssa_2013.pdf
Family courts will determine the amount of child support that will be paid by the parent who does not have primary custody. In Saratoga County, parents must financially support his or her child until the age of 21 unless he is married, in the military or is otherwise self-supporting. Further, if a child has left home and has opted to not acknowledge or obey his parents’ “reasonable commands”, he may be considered emancipated by New York courts. In these instances, child support may not be required.
Many of our clients seek to establish child support for the first time. To accomplish this, various documents are required from both parents, typically including pay stubs, proof of expenses, medical costs, salary information, tax returns and other expenses associated with raising the child. New York courts use this information to determine how much must be paid in child support based on the CSSA guidelines. The Parents may choose to agree on an amount other than the full CSSA amount, but both parents must consent to this alternate amount.
There are times after a Court Hearing to establish child support, when a non-custodial parent will object to the amount calculated by the Court. When this happens, the parent who is contesting child support is required to file Objections with 30 days of receiving the notice from the Court. These Objections are liked an Appeal of the Support Magistrate’s decision. The court then has discretion to leave the amount as it calculated, hear more about the dispute or make changes based on the Objections filed.
In some instances, even after a parent has been ordered to pay child support, he or she may not make payments consistently or on time. There are several avenues for custodial parents can take to remedy this failure. We explore each one with our client so that the best decision can be made moving forward. It may be that the court orders an income execution directly from the parent’s paycheck, or requires a lump sum payment of the owed Child Support, suspension of the non-custodial parent’s driver’s license – or in some instance, a business or professional license and ultimately, that parent may be sentenced to jail time. Our team of experienced family lawyers will diligently try to see that things don’t get that far.
But what happens if, after a Court order has been established, circumstances change for either party? In those instances, a Modification petition can be filed to change the orders. The petitioning party is given the opportunity to explain the change of circumstances that led to the change request. Then the parents may be able to work out a settlement agreement. If not, then the Support Magistrate will conduct a Hearing and both parents can put in their evidence and the Support Magistrate will make a decision and Court Order.
Getting Help from Our Saratoga County Child Support Attorneys
Ensuring proper legal representation is the first best move a parent can make. It’s important that your child’s needs are being met. While many of our clients have uneventful divorce and custody conclusions, there are those instances when a judge must make the decisions based on the needs of the child.
Can we help with any of your child support issues? We welcome the opportunity to explore your options. Give us a call today at 518-785-9702 to schedule an appointment with our team. The peace of mind that comes with taking the first step is empowering.