Child Care & Support

New York law requires parents to financially support unemancipated children until the age of 21 irrespective of custody and visitation.  Under the Child Support Standards Act, the amount most often depends on the parents’ income and number of children. The non-custodial parent must pay a certain percentage of his or her salary to the custodial parent. The amount is capped at $130,000 annually unless the court within its discretion finds a reason to increase it. Additionally, parents may be required to share other costs, such as medical expenses, baby-sitting, summer camp, travels, and private school. Things such as voluntary gifts, clothes or transportation are not considered as child support.

Each family’s financial arrangements and expenditures are unique. Some cases simply require a straightforward analysis under the Standards Act. However, despite the statutory formula, many variables ranging from shared custody arrangements, child and spousal support from prior marriages, to complex financial net worth evaluations can affect the amount of determined support.  In those instances, we extensively review the parties’ financial situation to determine if any deviation from guideline support is warranted.

Where appropriate we also work with the parties to come to an agreement and “opt out” of the Child Support Standards Act, establish temporary payments, or, when there is an alleged change in financial circumstances, request or refute modifications.

Understanding that in addition to personal reputation, parents who willfully do not pay court ordered support, pay less than required or pay sporadically may be subject to wage garnishment, property liens, income execution, civil or criminal contempt proceedings, federal penalties, fines and even jail time, we mindfully work with our clients and with child support enforcement agencies throughout the United States and internationally to take steps to collect or dispute amounts owed. Our expert team of forensic accountants, investigators and business evaluators can assist in establishing the correct amount of support under the guidelines or any proposed deviation to best avoid such circumstances.

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