Long Island Child Support Lawyer
Navigating Complex Situations Involving Child Support
At Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein, our Long Island child support attorneys understand the importance of ensuring that children receive the financial support they need and deserve. We provide comprehensive child support services to help parents navigate the complex legal system and ensure that their children are provided for.
What Is Child Support and Who Pays It in NY?
Child support is a legal arrangement where one parent provides financial assistance to the other parent to help cover the expenses associated with raising their child. In New York, child support is typically paid by the non-custodial parent, which is the parent who does not have primary physical custody of the child.
The amount of child support to be paid is determined based on various factors such as the income of both parents, the number of children involved, and the specific needs of the child. The New York State Child Support Standards Act provides guidelines for calculating child support payments, and these guidelines are used by courts to ensure fairness and consistency in determining the amount to be paid.
Establishing Child Support in New York
Our Long Island child support attorneys can assist with establishing child support orders through the court system. We work with our clients to gather the necessary financial information and advocate for the appropriate level of support based on New York State guidelines and the unique circumstances of each case.
Establishing child support in New York involves several steps:
- Filing a petition: The first step is to file a petition for child support with the Family Court or the Support Collection Unit (SCU) in your county. You can obtain the necessary forms from the court or online.
- Gathering relevant information: You will need to provide information about both parents, including their incomes, employment details, and any other relevant financial information.
- Calculating child support: New York follows specific guidelines outlined in the Child Support Standards Act to determine the amount of child support. The guidelines consider factors such as the combined income of both parents and the number of children.
- Negotiating or attending a hearing: If both parents can agree on the child support amount, they can submit a stipulation to the court for approval. If there is a disagreement, a court hearing may be required, where both parents can present their arguments and evidence.
- Court order: Once the court determines the child support amount, a court order is issued, outlining the payment terms, including the amount to be paid, the frequency of payments, and the designated recipient.
- Enforcement and modification: The court order is legally binding, and non-compliance can result in enforcement measures. Child support payments are typically collected through income withholding, where the payments are deducted directly from the paying parent's wages. If circumstances change, such as a significant change in income or the child's needs, either parent can request a modification of the child support order.
Modifying Child Support
Life circumstances can change, and child support orders may need to be modified to reflect these changes. Our Long Island child support attorneys can assist with modifying child support orders due to changes in income, custody arrangements, or other relevant factors.
Modifying child support in New York involves specific procedures to ensure fairness and account for changes in circumstances.
The process for modifying child support includes:
- Change in circumstances: A modification of child support can typically be requested when there is a substantial change in circumstances that may affect the existing child support order. Examples of such changes include a significant change in either parent's income, a change in the child's needs, or a change in the custody arrangement.
- Filing a petition: To initiate the modification process, the parent seeking the modification must file a petition with the Family Court or the Support Collection Unit (SCU) in the relevant county. The petition should outline the reasons for the requested modification and provide supporting documentation.
- Notifying the other parent: The petitioning parent must serve a copy of the petition to the other parent, informing them of the modification request. Proper service is crucial to ensure all parties are aware and have an opportunity to respond.
- Negotiating or attending a hearing: If both parents can agree on the proposed modification, they can submit a stipulation to the court for approval. However, if there is a disagreement, a court hearing may be necessary. During the hearing, both parents can present their arguments and supporting evidence to the court.
- Court decision: The court will consider the evidence presented, including financial information, and make a decision regarding the modification of child support. If approved, the court will issue a modified child support order, outlining the new payment terms.
- Implementation and enforcement: Once the modified child support order is issued, it is legally binding. The paying parent is responsible for complying with the new payment terms. If necessary, child support payments can be enforced through income withholding or other enforcement measures.
Enforcing Child Support
Unfortunately, some parents may fail to meet their child support obligations. If a parent fails to make the required child support payments, various enforcement measures can be taken. Enforcing child support in New York is important to ensure that the financial needs of the child are met.
Our child support attorneys in Long Island can assist with enforcing child support orders through legal action.
Some common methods of enforcing child support in NY include:
- Income withholding: This is the most common method of enforcement. The child support payments are deducted directly from the paying parent's wages or income. The employer is legally required to withhold the specified amount and send it to the appropriate agency or individual.
- Contempt of court: If a parent repeatedly fails to comply with the child support order, the custodial parent can file a petition for contempt of court. If the court finds the non-paying parent in contempt, they may face penalties such as fines, suspension of driver's license, or even imprisonment.
- Seizing assets: In certain situations, the court may authorize the seizure of the non-paying parent's assets to satisfy the child support arrears. This can include bank accounts, property, or other assets that can be liquidated to fulfill the outstanding child support obligations.
- Intercepting tax refunds: The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has the authority to intercept any state or federal tax refunds owed to a parent with outstanding child support arrears. The intercepted funds are applied towards the unpaid child support.
- Reporting to credit bureaus: Unpaid child support can be reported to credit bureaus, negatively impacting the non-paying parent's credit score and making it harder for them to obtain credit or loans.
- Passport denial: If the non-paying parent owes a significant amount of child support, the U.S. Department of State can deny or revoke their passport. This measure is taken to encourage compliance with child support obligations.
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Child Support Representation in Long Island, NY
Regardless of the dynamics between you and the other parent of your child, the welfare and needs of your child take precedence. The knowledgeable child support attorneys at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP, based in Long Island, are here to assist you in securing the rightful support for your children.