If you have children and are seeking to file a divorce, you may have questions about how child support operates in the Rochester court system. There are many popular misconceptions about child support laws, and the advice of an experienced Rochester child support lawyer from Tully Rinckey PLLC can help separate fiction from fact.
The knowledgeable family attorneys on our team can explain how child support is calculated, review your financial information, and give you an idea of what you could expect to pay or receive. You want the best for your child, and a clear understanding of the law and how it affects your family situation can help you do just that.
When a marriage that produced children dissolves, both parents have a legal obligation under New York Domestic Relations Law §240 to support their children financially and generally until those children turn 21. However, there is no obligation to support a child over the age of 18 if a child is “emancipated”—including if they are self-supporting, in the military, or married.
Child support is a payment from one parent to the other to provide for the needs of their child. If a child resides primarily with one parent, otherwise known as the “custodial parent,” the other parent is required to assist paying for housing, food, and other necessities—typically in the form of monthly payments, as well as a share of health insurance premiums, and reimbursements for the child’s medical expenses and child care costs.
The Child Support Formula
According to New York Domestic Relations Law §240, the support obligation of each of a child’s parents applies a mathematical formula based on the combined incomes of the parents. The greater number of children involved can subsequently increase the amount of support owed. Obligations for health insurance premiums, uncovered health care costs and child care expenses are also apportioned.
Even if you are unemployed, you are not released from your obligation to pay support. The court can impute an income and almost any form of compensation from any source can be considered income in this context, including unemployment benefits, pensions, and social security. However, certain public assistance income could be excluded. The same formula and requirements apply to unmarried parents and can be pursued, enforced and modified in the Family Court.
Modifying an Order of Child Support
If you believe a previously established child support order is no longer appropriate, you may petition the court for a modification. After receiving such a petition, the court can review the financial circumstances and child’s needs and adjust the amount you or your child’s other parent should pay if it finds a change in circumstances requires adjustment
In the same vein, a child support order that has been in place at least three years may be modified. In this case, the court no longer requires the petitioning party to demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances but only that at least three years have passed or a party’s income has changed by 15 percent or more since the last order.
Violation of Child Support Orders
In some cases, a parent may fail to pay some, or all of, the ordered child support. Violating such an order can result in a charge of contempt of court, a finding of which could result in a mandate to pay attorney fees and even imprisonment.
When a payor parent violates a child support order, the other parent may request enforcement through court action. The New York Division of Child Support Enforcement Unit can assist in collection of current and past due child support.
The Division, if used to collect support, can garnish wages, intercept tax refunds and suspend the payor’s driver’s or other licensed privileges. In addition, a delinquent payor parent may have property seized, professional licenses forfeited or invalidated, or a lien placed on their home or business.
The laws surrounding child support in the State of New York can be confusing, and it is easy to become overwhelmed. Fortunately, a Rochester child support lawyer who understands the law can explain it to you in clear language and guide you through the associated court processes. The team of battle-toughened professionals at Tully Rinckey PLLC are ready and available to help you, so call us today at 8885294543 or email email@example.com to set up an initial consultation and get started on your case.
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Let me begin with my continued respect and heartfelt thanks for all you did for me when a simple divorce spiraled out of control. As wounded as I was, I was painfully aware of the emotional toll the litigation was taking on you too. It was that empathy, accompanied by your phenomenal legal skills that kept me together during what was perhaps the most traumatic chapter of my life. I hope I am able to convey an impression of the depth of gratitude I have for you.
I retained Tully Rinckey PLLC for a child support modification, which became necessary following domestic violence incidents, my own disability as a result, and my children's increased needs. Tully Rinckey PLLC is professional, proactive and, most importantly, does not suffer fools. They focused on the legal arguments of the case and applied appellate decisions which were directly related. Most importantly to me, they took my case personally. As one who has seen many people promised the sun, moon and stars by attorneys who then treat them as a number, Tully Rinckey PLLC was invested in my case from the beginning. They were able to go directly to the heart of the matter without needing to destroy the other party. They kept the focus on my children's needs and, when the other party refused to settle and hired an attorney, Tully Rinckey PLLC went into overdrive making sure my children would get a fair hearing of the facts in court. They kept the main thing the main thing and her arguments on point. They also ensured that my disability accommodations were honored and was sensitive to the needs my disability created, which was incredibly important for my testimony. I have already recommended Tully Rinckey PLLC several times and will continue to do so.
I was represented by Ryan McCall in both custody and support matters. Ryan did an excellent job in both, and we were successful in both. I would highly recommend to anyone in need of great representation to contact Tully Rinckey and speak to Ryan McCall.
Thank you it was a pleasure doing business with you. Honestly, you made this experience painless. Much appreciated happy customer.
I would like to thank you for the wonderful job Tully Rinckey PLLC did on my behalf. In an unusual circumstance where the custody of my daughter changed for a period of 6 months because of Hurricane Irene, they managed to get the entire case dismissed.
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