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Parents who are unmarried or who are in the process of getting a divorce must understand the implications of child support laws in New York State. An experienced, qualified family law attorney can provide much-needed guidance to mothers and fathers navigating the realms of child support and custody.

A mother holding her child

Establishing Child Support

In New York, parents must financially support a child until age 21 unless the child in question is married, emancipated, self-supporting, or serving in the military. In general, the parent who has primary physical custody will receive financial support from the non-custodial parent. When parents were never married, paternity must be established by filing either an Order of Filiation or an Acknowledgement of Paternity. Parents can establish their own child support agreement and have it approved by Family Court, a support petition can be filed in Family Court, or support can be ordered by the state Supreme Court as part of a divorce decree.

Determining the Amount of Child Support

New York State family law establishes a formula for calculating child support. The combined income of both parents is calculated by specific percentages to determine the amount of money that should be dedicated to financially supporting the child or children. Currently, these rates are established as 17 percent for one child, 25 percent for two children, 29 percent for three children, 31 percent for four children, and at least 35 percent for five or more children.

Deviation from Established Rates

In certain cases, the court may decide to alter the established rate for child support. In these cases, factors considered include the financial resources available to both parents and to the child or children, the current standard of living to which the child is accustomed, whether any children in the family have special medical needs, non-monetary contributions made by either parent, the children’s education needs, the family’s tax obligations, and the support needs of other children either parent may have with another party.

Parents who need assistance with child support need a family law attorney who can advocate for their child’s best interests. Families in the Walden area can trust the knowledge of the attorneys of Jacobowitz & Gubits, LLP. We have been serving clients in the Hudson Valley since 1968. We provide Spanish-speaking assistance. Contact our firm today for an initial consultation.

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