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Regardless of whether parents are married when their child is born, New York State laws require them to ensure proper financial support. Raising a child is expensive and goes beyond mere food, shelter, and clothing. The responsibility falls upon both parents to cover costs for child care, transportation, education, medical care, entertainment, extracurricular activities, and related expenses. While it may be possible to come to an agreement with the child’s other parent, disputes are common.

New York laws protect the interests of children and parents, but child support cases are highly complex. Our attorneys at The Colwell Law Group, LLC have in-depth knowledge of the relevant statutes and decades of combined experience representing families in Schoharie County, NY. Whether you are the parent receiving or paying child support, we will assist you in obtaining an arrangement that best serves the needs of your child.

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Child Support Laws in New York

There are two situations that will trigger New York’s child support laws:

  1. Establishment of Paternity: Where parents are unmarried at a child’s birth, it is necessary to prove paternity before seeking child support. Establishing parentage is possible through a voluntary process or by filing a petition in court.
  2. Divorce Case: When parents divorce, a key issue will be ensuring the care for minor children. A Schoharie County Family Court judge will enter an order for custody, visitation, and child support based upon the child’s best interests. Typically, the non-custodial parent will pay support to the residential parent to cover child-rearing costs.

Factors Impacting Child Support Amounts

The goal of child support is to provide the child with the financial means to enjoy the same lifestyle he or she would if the parents lived under the same roof. In addition to this general objective, New York State law includes specific provisions to calculate the amount of child support. Starting with a percentage of the paying parent’s income, the court will apply such factors as:

  • The child’s educational costs;
  • Health insurance expenses;
  • Combined incomes of both parents, from all sources including workers’ compensation and disability;
  • How many other children the paying parent supports;
  • Other considerations as appropriate.

Modifying a Child Support Order

Parents’ circumstances may change over time. Loss of employment, illness, disability, or other scenarios can put a parent in a difficult position in terms of complying with support obligations. New York law covers these types of situations, so there is a legal process to modify a child support order in the event of a significant change in circumstances. There are severe consequences for non-payment, regardless of financial difficulties.

Discuss Child Support with a Trusted Schoharie County Lawyer

If you are involved in a child support case in a divorce or through paternity proceedings, it is critical to retain a skilled, dedicated attorney to represent your interests. Our lawyers at The Colwell Law Group, LLC are committed to ensuring a solid financial future for your child, so please call 518-864-0564 to schedule a confidential consultation. You can also check out our website to learn more about our legal services in child support cases.

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