During a divorce or separation between parents, and for parents that were never married, there are various issues which need to be considered to ensure the long-term safety and wellbeing of the child. In New York, the courts will often do everything in their power to ensure the negative impact of a divorce, or parents that do not live together, on a child is as minimal as possible. While the end of a relationship, whatever the length (long term or a one-night stand), or a marriage between two parents can be upsetting for a child, it shouldn’t negatively influence that child’s ability to thrive in life.
Sometimes, to ensure a child continues to access the opportunities they would have had should their parents have stayed together, or to simply take care of their needs, the court will need to order child support. This payment, given to the primary caregiver or the residential custodial parent of the child, helps to ensure they can give the child the best quality of life without the presence of the other parental figure.
In most cases, child support is calculated according to a specific formula. However, certain children will have advanced or specific needs which require the standard formula for child support to be reconsidered. For children with special needs, additional considerations will often contribute to the decision of how much child support a non-custodial parent should pay. These special needs can also influence how long support is awarded for. A law just signed into effect in New York now extends the age of child support for special needs children. This can mean proceeding with or defending against an onslaught of child support petitions in Family Court, or post-divorce judgment motions in the Supreme Court for special needs children that have already aged out. Continue reading ›