Despite divorce severing the marital tie between a New York couple, the relationship with their children remains intact. Divorced parents often have to go the extra mile to ensure their children's needs, both financial and emotional, are met in the aftermath of their split, but keeping their best interests at the forefront is crucial while they adjust to going from one familial unit to two. Child support and custody arrangements also reflect this, whether agreed upon between the parties or decided by the courts.
Taking care of one's children is a life-long obligation, whether the parents remain married to one another or not. When a couple divorces, the court often awards child support payments to be paid by one parent to the other--generally the one who is given primary physical custody of the child. When there is a failure to pay child support, there can be legal and administrative consequences.
While a couple is married in New York, as in other states across the country, both parents contribute to the child's upbringing This includes education, healthcare and other financial needs. However, when the couple divorces and one parent is given primary custody of the child, many may believe this also includes financial obligations but this is not the case. Courts often order child support, which is an ongoing periodic payment from one parent to another to cover the child's financial needs.
As previous posts on this blog have discussed, parents in New York who are living in separate homes and subject to a paternity or divorce order will have to address issues related to the financial wellbeing of their children. A parent will likely either receive or pay child support, and the amount of that support will depend heavily on each parent's "income."
When there are issues related to child support in New York, the basics can be at the forefront of the disagreement. One problem that frequently arises is that the alleged father does not know or will not agree that he is the biological father of the child. This is where the Acknowledgment of Paternity is important.
Sometimes the most basic aspects of a child support case are the most confusing. For noncustodial parents in New York State who have been ordered to pay child support, they might not understand how the amount is determined and why. This is essential in any case and the custodial and noncustodial parent should understand it completely. There are certain child support guidelines that the state uses to determine what is paid. This is based on how much the person earns per year. Based on the law, the noncustodial parent will not be ordered to pay an amount that is unfair.
For noncustodial parents who are paying child support, there are times when they are not able to make the payments in full because of job loss. When a person loses his or her job and owes child support, the lack of employment does not eliminate the requirement to pay the child support on time and in full. However, the state does understand that these circumstances will inevitably arise and they are often out of the supporting parent's control. With that, it is essential to understand what legal steps to take after job loss.
When a child support order is made in New York, it is essential that the supporting parent make the payments in full and on time to serve the best interests of the child. There are instances, however, in which a parent would like to have the order changed. There can be many reasons for this. Regardless of why there is a desire for the modification, it is imperative to understand the child support guidelines for such a change. Failing to do so can make the situation worse.
When a New York court determines that child support should be paid by one parent for the benefit of their child and sets an amount that the payer will provide on a monthly basis, the determination is based on what the court judges to be in the best interests of the child. Generally, a paying parent is the noncustodial parent and that parent's financial contributions to the needs of the child may seem to exceed the financial contributions made by the custodial or nonpaying parent. However, a custodial parent is also expected to financially contribute to the child's needs in addition to providing the day-to-day support that is required to raise a child.
For many Oneida County parents who are obligated to pay child support, their requirement to provide financial support to their offspring ends when the children reach the age of majority. However, this is not the case for every payer of child support. Whether through agreement or by order of a family law court, a parent may be required to pay support beyond their child's eighteenth birthday under several circumstances.