When the married parents of children decide to get divorced, it does not terminate the responsibility each parent owes to the child. In most cases, the parent that is not charged with the day-to-day care of a child will owe monetary support. This support is intended to cover anything from housing to the cost of food. A Manhattan child support lawyer could help you understand your responsibilities as it relates to financial support for your children.
The courts take multiple factors into account when determining the amount of support that is necessary for a child. Unfortunately, some parents can use the need for child support as leverage in an effort to get back at their former spouse. An experienced family attorney could help ensure you are treated fairly throughout the process.
The Obligation of Child Support
In Manhattan, both parents have a duty to support their children. When one parent is the primary caregiver, the court may require the non-residential parent to pay monthly support to the custodial parent.
Identifying the amount of child support that is necessary goes beyond determining which parent has custody. The income of both parents is also an important consideration. State law requires the court to calculate the full amount of earned and unearned income each parent receives in a given year, regardless if that income is taxed or not. This includes salary, stock dividends, tips, royalties, and pensions.
A lack of income will not eliminate a parent’s child support responsibilities. The court may still require support payment from parents even if they are unemployed. This is especially true if the parent is willfully unemployed or reduces their income in an effort to reduce their support payments.
Once the court considers all relevant factors, they will determine the amount of support that is necessary each month. Either parent could challenge the awarded amount of child support with the help of a hardworking lawyer in the area.
Material Changes in Circumstance
Following a divorce, the court will make a determination regarding the amount of child support a parent may owe to another. While this order is final, it does not mean that the court cannot revisit the matter in the future.
If a parent believes a material change in circumstances requires the amount of child support to be adjusted, they can petition the court to change the support order. This material change could result in an increase or decrease in monthly support payments. For example, a parent paying support each month could petition to have that amount lowered if they lose their employment or see their pay reduced.
As with the underlying support decision, the court has the final word on any changes. After considering the evidence, the judge will either agree to amend the child support agreement or leave the existing order in place. A child support lawyer in Manhattan could assist with every step of this process.
Reach out to a Manhattan Child Support Attorney Today
As a parent, you have rights and responsibilities for your minor children under the law. However, that does not mean you deserve to be taken advantage of. By protecting yourself during the divorce process, you could be treated fairly by the court.
It could be in your best interest to discuss your legal options with a Manhattan child support lawyer. To learn more, schedule a confidential consultation immediately.