Top 3 Factors That Influence Child Support
Learn about the most important factors that influence child support in New York
When marriages come to an end, children can easily become caught in the middle of a divorce battle. Questions of custody arise, and all parties wonder which circumstances are in the best interests of the children. As difficult as the division of assets may seem, this pales in comparison to the frustration that can come with the struggle over custody; after all, while finances and possessions can be evenly redistributed, one’s children cannot. If you find yourself curious or concerned about the stability of child support payments, read about these important factors that influence child support in New York, and be sure to consult a qualified attorney if you have any further questions.
Once a settlement is reached—whether both parents share custody equally or one parent retains custody while the other merely reserves visitation rights—the topic of child support becomes critical. Will both parents contribute evenly at every step of the children’s lives? Will the non-custodial parent merely be responsible for reimbursement? What if the non-custodial parent tries to resist paying in an exchange for visitation?
Your Child Support Payments Can Hinge on a Calculator.
Before a divorce is finalized, couples with children must settle all matters of child support and custody. Once custody is decided, whether by a judge or by the spouses themselves, all parties can rely on a simple law to effectively negotiate the quantity and sums of child support payments: the Child Support Standards Act. This statute turns to a calculator in order to determine the amount of support to be paid to the primary or sole custodial parent; aspects such as both parents’ incomes and the number of children, among other elements, directly influence the outcome of this calculation.
A Change in Custody Can Drastically Alter a Child Support Agreement.
If custodial status shifts from one parent to another—that is, if the custodial parent becomes non-custodial, and vice versa—the parents will be required to update their child support arrangement. The standards of the Child Support Standards Act are specific in their breadth, and a significant change in custody will trigger a necessary revision of child support payments.
Emancipation Will Bring an End to Child Support.
In the years-long marathon that is child support, the finish line is emancipation. Until a child meets the criteria for emancipation, child support will be legally mandated to continue unabated. In the state of New York, a child is emancipated if he or she:
~ Has reached the age of 18 years and:
> Has married.
> Is a full-time member of the armed services.
> Is self-supporting and lives apart from her or his parents.
~ Has reached the age of 21.
Sometimes emancipation can prove to be a gray area, and when this ambiguity occurs, further legal proceedings may be necessary.
An experienced attorney can provide newly divorced parents with a general range of how much they can expect to pay or receive in child support payments. However, these payments may not remain fixed for the remainder of a child’s life; circumstances such as a change to the child’s living situation can obligate both parents to rework their agreement. In order to wade the occasionally murky waters of child support matters, be sure to ask your attorney today for advice about any issues have arisen.