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Articles Posted in Child Support

ParentsKitchenChild-201x300Thank you for once again joining me for another instalment in this bullet-point guide on child support in family law. I’ve been using this bullet point series to try my best provide parties interested in family law and the decisions that need to be made by the court or people embroiled in these cases, with valuable information.

Here, like in my other guides in these series, you’ll find information organized into bullet points, so you can find quick answers to your questions. In this part of the child support bullets guide, we’ll be talking about what happens when incorrect information is in an income execution and the process of making objections to income executions. We’ll also be looking at the process of child support cases in family court before support magistrates and making written objections to support orders when required. Continue reading ›

Young-Parents-300x207If you are a regular visitor to my blog, you may have noticed that alongside my regular articles and blog posts, I have also been introducing a series of bullet-point guides. These guides are intended to curate some of the more complicated ideas addressed in my other articles, into something that is a little easier to consume in bite-sized chunks.

The current guide series addresses the various issues and concerns that can arise during cases surrounding child support. In previous parts, we have discussed some of the basics about how courts can make decisions on the amount of child support to give, and what kind of factors may affect these decisions. Today, we are going to look a little more about the deviations from the guidelines that may occur in child support orders.

This part of the guide will also discuss the kind of discretionary control that the courts have in making decisions about child support. Continue reading ›

Parents-Walk-300x200For some time now, I’ve been using this blog as an opportunity to share valuable information about family law, child custody, and divorce with people who need guidance. With many years of experience working as a child support attorney and divorce lawyer in New York, I’ve answered a lot of questions in my time.

The blogs and articles here and on my website cover some of the complex topics that can arise during a divorce or when parents split in more detail, while these bullet-point guides take a more compact approach. Today, in the third issue of the child support guide, we’ll be looking at family law in New York, the Uniform Interstate guidelines, and the decisions that couples must make about child support.

Child Support Cases in New York

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ParentsReading-300x200Throughout the past year, I’ve been publishing a series of guides intended to support anyone who wants to learn more about the common issues that emerge in family law and divorce cases. This particular guide is a continuation of the Child Support series.

For this section of the guide, I will be looking at constructive emancipation, and what it means to child support requirements in a family law case.  There are certainly cases where the emancipation of a child might be deemed appropriate.  This will lead to a termination of child support in those instances. In this blog I will also be discussing the complexity of paternity in family law.

For the paternity part of this guide, we’ll consider what equitable estoppel means, and when DNA might not matter to legal decisions. Continue reading ›

Kissing-Parents-300x200If you’ve been following this blog for a while now, you’ll know that I have been producing a series of bullet-point guides that cover various common topics associated with divorce, family law, child custody, and similar concerns.

Today, I’m starting a new bullet series that will cover an important aspect of family law: child support. When it comes to living separately from the other parent of your child or getting a divorce from your partner, determining how you are going to continue looking after your child properly is an important consideration. Child support can be a crucial aspect in ensuring that your child can maintain the same quality of life after a divorce is complete.  It is also important to think about how the custodial parent and the non-custodial parent will be able to still take care of themselves/

Today’s child support bullet point guide will introduce the basics of how New York courts determine the right amount of support to give to a parent in a child support case. We will also discuss the concept of temporary orders for child support. Continue reading ›

Coronavirusmasks-300x200For everyone’s information we are still doing business and trying our best to help people during this crisis. In difficult times such as the COVID-19 pandemic, we all still have issues that we need to face in our personal lives, such as dealing with child support and maintenance awards. The default law around child support modification indicates that either party in a case can file for a modification of child support based on:

  1. A substantial change of circumstances
  2. That income has changed by 15% or more
  3. That three or more years has elapsed since the last support order

These default requirements apply unless the parties agreed that they would opt out of options 2 and 3 in a written agreement. If the parties have changed from the default with a written agreement, the language of that document would highlight in which circumstances a modification can be sought.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, it was clear that you could file a request at any time if you had one of the circumstances that would normally apply to the parties to get a child support modification. If a modification was granted, the law is that it would be retroactive to the filing date in court of the petition of application for child support to be modified. This basically means that if you filed for child support to be changed on December 1 and then the court case was decided on February 1 in your favor, the amount due would be recalculated backwards from December 1 (the filing date) forward. Continue reading ›

Kitchen-Fight-300x200In Nassau County and Suffolk County, as well as the surrounding areas of Long Island and New York, the law generally allows for concurrent jurisdiction in either the Supreme or Family court to tackle issues of spousal or child support for married couples not living together. For a married couple living together, usually, unless it was clear that one of the parents has custody over the other, if one of the parents filed a child support case in family court, the family court would usually dismiss the case and direct that the issue of child support should be the topic in a matrimonial case. Matrimonial cases are dealt with in the Supreme Court.  Proceedings for legal separation or divorce are the most common marital cases, although an annulment proceeding is also a matrimonial case.  The family court does have jurisdiction to hear a child support case for a married couple not living together.

If there isn’t a matrimonial case pending already, spousal support cases can be filed in the family court. This may be true even in a situation where a married couple remains living together, without support for the non-monied spouse. The family court does not have jurisdiction to hear newly filed cases for assistance when a matrimonial case is pending with the Supreme court. However, there’s a general exception to this rule which allows for the filing of a support petition in the family court, even when matrimonial cases are pending if one spouse and the children are likely to become public charges or are already on public assistance.

Examining Spousal Support Cases Before Matrimonial Cases Begin

But what about a situation where a spousal support case is filed in family court, before the filing of a matrimonial claim, but then a matrimonial case is started immediately afterward? We can go to the case law for guidance. Continue reading ›

In a recent post, we discussed New York child support agreements and how the parties to a divorce may be able to agree to the payment and amount of child support Outsidequarrelcouple-300x200rather than have the court make that determination. We also discussed a situation in which the court was likely to set aside a child support agreement. This week, we will take a more in-depth look into how courts view New York child support agreements.

As a general matter, a properly drafted New York child support agreement will remain enforceable over time. However, in reality, circumstances and relationships change, and it is not uncommon for either party to an agreement to ask the court to modify or set aside the agreement if they believe that it is no longer fair to them or to the children subject to the agreement.

The default law (for support orders made nowadays), unless people opt out of them is that either party to a  child support order may seek to modify it:  every three years; if income changes by 15% or more; or there has otherwise been a substantial change of circumstances.  The parties to a properly drafted and executed written stipulation may opt of those first two reasons.  If people have opted out of the default reasons to modify the agreement or the order predated the 2010 child support law, then the Courts will only grant a party’s request for an upward modification (meaning an increase in the child support obligation) if the requesting party can establish one of three circumstances:

  • When it appears that the needs of the child are not being met;
  • There has been an unanticipated change in circumstances, as well as a showing by the moving party that there is a need for modification; or
  • The agreement was unfair or inequitable when it was made.

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While some New York divorces are long, drawn-out, and contentious affairs, others are much more amicable such as when the parties use divorce mediation as theChildSupportMediationCouple-300x200 process. In the latter type of divorce, it is not uncommon for the parties to agree on many of the issues that a court would otherwise need to decide. Among matters that are commonly worked out between divorcing spouses are the division of marital property and the payment of spousal support.

Some couples will also be able to agree on the payment and amount of child support with their divorce mediator or through settlement negotiations. However, because the right to receive child support technically belongs to the children for whom the support benefits, courts retain the final decision over a New York child support agreement.

Under New York Domestic Relations Law section 240, the parties to a child support agreement must aver that the agreement provides the correct amount of child support. If, however, the mediated divorce agreement or settled agreement between the parties deviates from the basic child support amount that would otherwise be appropriate, the parties must explain what the necessary amount of child support would be and why there is a deviation by agreement. Importantly, this cannot be waived by either party.

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As we approach the end of the calendar year, taxes are on everyone’s mind.  Perhaps people are thinking more about taxes than usual because of the passage of the new tax law by Congress at the end of 2017.   To many who have been through a New York divorce or separation, the tax implications of dissolving a marriage are incredibly important and must be part of the overall discussion regarding other issues, such as the division of assets and child custody.

One issue that frequently arises in New York divorce cases is which parent is able to claim a child or children as a dependent for tax purposes. The ability to claim a child as a dependent can have a significant effect on a party’s tax liability.

For the most part, only one person can claim a child as a dependent on their tax return. However, a custodial parent can waive their right to claim certain benefits, such as the child’s personal exemption, the child tax credit, and the tuition and fees deduction. Notably, a custodial parent could still retain the head-of-household filing status, the child and dependent care credit, and the earned income credit. However, according to the IRS, if the parties have multiple children the parties can either agree on how to split up the dependency credits or a court may make that determination.

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