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Brooklyn Child Support Lawyers

In general, child support cases are heard in New York Family Court. The New York City Bar Association says that in child support matters, a judge and a lawyer for one or both parents will be present in court. Sometimes, a hearing examiner, in lieu of a judge, will hear a case and render a decision. In matters where there are children whose families are on public assistance, the case is heard in a Manhattan Family Court. As soon as all of the evidence is heard by a judge or a hearing examiner and calculations have been made, a decision as to who pays child support, who receives the support payment and how much will be paid is handed down. A child support matter that comes in the wake of a divorce might be heard in Supreme Court.

Which parent is Obligated to Pay Child Support?

Some people are of the false belief that neglecting to maintain contact with their child alleviates the obligation to pay child support. That is far from the truth. Even when a parent never speaks to or sees their children, financial support of the children remains their obligation. The custodial parent is within their rights to file a motion for child support with the assistance of a child support lawyer. According to the New York State DCSE, parents who are unemployed, behind bars and or disabled are still required to pay support. In scenarios where the absent parent is incarcerated or they can prove a minimal income, the support payment will be adjusted to a state minimum standard. In some cases, the custodial parent will be asked to demonstrate that the absent parent is indeed the biological parent of the children in question. The absent parent can also ask for such proof.

New York Child Support Guidelines

Until relatively recently, the standard by which child support was calculated varied widely. The process was finally consolidated and standardized by the Family Support Act of 1988. The federal government passed this act to establish a more concise and uniform system for child custody proceedings. There are three methods for calculating the amount of child support to be paid.

Percentage of Income

A fixed amount is given to the other parent for child support from the non-custodial parent based on their calculated income. Numerous states employ this method for their child support matters.

George FernandezGeorge Fernandez
14:16 30 Apr 24
Excellent 10 out of 10, Helped resolve my case. Jeremy explained everything and made everything easy to understand.
RajRaj
21:33 24 Apr 24
If you are looking for a lawyer that listens, is aggressive where needed, and holds his word above all else, Todd is the best pick. I had hired multiple attorneys prior to hiring the Spodek Group for a white collar case. The first thing that stood out to me was the cost, as anyone going through the process and dealing with the system, money was tight at that time - especially after hiring and firing multiple lawyers. The cost was not as high as others which was definitely a plus. Todd's intake process was also unlike other attorneys. He took the time to actually listen. He cared. He was trying to put himself in my shoes while I was explaining the situation to him and he really took the time to understand the whole situation. Other lawyers will give you 15 mins and send you a retainer agreement. Not Todd, I think he spent almost two hours with me as I was explaining everything.Not only was he great during the onboarding process, he was supportive and very informative through the entire plea process and eventually sentencing. After hiring him, I asked if I should hire a prison consultant, he told me to save my money as he would do everything they would. He was right and held up to his word. Later on I would hear from others that went with the prison consultants that they were a waste of money - I am glad I listened to Todd!When it came time for sentencing, two days prior to sentencing, the prosecutor tried increasing my proposed prison time by almost double - apparently a normal move. Todd and his team worked with me non-stop through the weekend prior to sentencing to ensure that I was not given additional prison time. Again, he took the time to listen and came up with a strategy to explain the case with great detail.Unfortunately, I did plead guilty as that was my best option. Todd and his whole team wrote up nearly 300 pages of a summary of what happened and why I should not be given prison time. If I breakdown the amount I spent with Todd versus the amount of work that I saw being done, I am shocked I was not charged four times as much. The other benefit was, a lot of criminal defense lawyers were just a single attorney with a paralegal or two. Todd had a team of people that I dealt with (5-7 people that I interacted with), but he was ALWAYS accessible. It would never take him more than an hour to reply unless he was in court.I was sentenced to prison and I was emotionally distraught. Todd and his team did whatever they could even after sentencing to make sure I was alright. He personally stayed in touch with my family to ensure I was doing alright and offered support to them. Most lawyers would consider the job complete at sentencing, not Todd.After prison, Todd still spent time with me to make sure I was on the right track and avoiding any potential risks in the future. He has also been giving advice on how to navigate probation etc and has not been looking at the clock for billing.Although I wish I had never been arrested in the first place, I am glad I had Todd and his team in my corner. Without them I likely would have had to spend a lot more time in prison than I did.Thank you, Todd, and the entire Spodek Law team, for helping turn what was a nightmare into a manageable situation!
Yelva Saint-PreuxYelva Saint-Preux
19:26 19 Apr 24
I am immensely grateful to the entire team at Spodek Law Group for their unwavering dedication and exceptional expertise throughout my case. From our initial consultation to the final resolution, their professionalism and tireless advocacy made all the difference. Their strategic approach and attention to detail instilled confidence in me every step of the way.Thanks to their hard work and commitment, we achieved a truly favorable outcome that exceeded my expectations. Not only did they navigate the complexities of my case with precision, but they also provided invaluable support and guidance during what was undoubtedly a challenging time. I cannot recommend Spodek Law Group highly enough, especially attorneys Todd Spodek and Claire Banks; they are beacons of excellence in the legal profession.YSP.
Katherine SunKatherine Sun
18:08 18 Apr 24
my lawyer is Alex Zhik. Efficient, patient and professional
Nun yaNun ya
17:48 18 Apr 24
Todd, Ralph and Alex are amazing. Helped my husband get from a double digit number with multiple charges to a single digit, by the time I blink he will be out. They very professional and help with all your needs. They dealt with my anxiety and worry very well and they understand that your family member needs to get home as soon as possible.
Keisha ParrisKeisha Parris
20:45 15 Mar 24
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko BeautyTaïko Beauty
16:26 15 Mar 24
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence.Thank you team!
K MarK Mar
01:37 25 Jan 24
I recently had Spodek Law Group represent me for a legal matter in NYC and I am thoroughly impressed with their services.Alex Zhik secured the best possible outcome for my case.It was a seamless journey from the initial consultation to the resolution of my legal matter. From the moment I spoke to Todd about my case, his enthusiasm to help was evident, setting a positive tone for the entire experience. The efficiency and professionalism displayed by the team is commendable.A particularly noteworthy aspect of their service is their user-friendly portal to upload your documents/evidence. This not only simplified the process, but showcases their commitment to streamline the client experience.Lastly, in an industry where legal fees can often be a concern, I found their pricing to be very reasonable, making needing legal assistance feel accessible and stress-free.I am grateful for their support and wouldn't hesitate to turn to them again in the future.
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Income Shares

In some situation, the judge takes the income from both parents into account in determining how much of their income should go towards the maintenance of their children. That number is split evenly between the parents. The non-custodial parent pays half of the decided amount. This model functions on the premise of the standard that a child should receive the same proportion of parental income that they would have gotten if the parents had remained together. The guidelines account for both parents’ incomes in this calculation and the percentages remains the same regardless of each parent’s level of income.

The Melson Formula

The Melson Formula adds a layer to the income shares method. Both of the parents pay equally, but this also factors in cost of living increases over the years. Then, the formula calculates the total remaining combined parental income, and the noncustodial parent’s percentage, and applies the latter to a standard.

Child Support Payments based on Percentage of Income

NY Child Support guidelines consist of fixed percentages of gross income. They only vary on the basis of the number of children to be supported:

  • Parent pays 17% of parent’s income for 1 child;
  • Parent pays 25% of parent’s income for 2 children;
  • Parent pays 29% of parent’s income for 3 children;
  • Parent pays 31% of parent’s income for 4 children; and
  • Parent pays a minimum of 35% of parent’s income if there are 5 children or more.

Additional Considerations

Even with the methods for calculating child support payments, other variables can come into play. Sometimes the custodial parent makes more money than the non-custodial parent, for example. The following considerations come to light in a child support case:

  • Any child support payments from other non-custodial parent
  • Health insurance costs
  • Shared costs and fees for day care
  • Visitation time and other joint custody arrangements that are in place

Child Support Requirements for Step-Parents

Should the absent parent be a step-parent, support would only be ordered if the amount in the order would go towards preventing the child from getting any public assistance. From the moment a divorce is final, the step-parent generally has no financial responsibility for their step-child. Either parent has the right to enter an Order of Filiation. This order establishes the legal, biological relationship between parent and child. Indeed, there are some scenarios where one person’s name is listed on the birth certificate but another person is the actual, biological parent. If the father of a child signed an Acknowledgment of Paternity at the time the child was born, then such an order unnecessary. Even in scenarios where the parent signed the birth certificate, no legal claim exists unless the acknowledgment is signed or the order proves that the child is truly the biological offspring of the absent parent. Should that parent, which in most cases is the father, object to the results of the order, a DNA test is typically ordered to prove paternity.

When Your Case is Over

When all of the paperwork is completed and a designated amount of child support has been determined, a review is conducted to determine how the custodial parent wants to receive the payments and when the payments will be made. In general, payments are ordered to be made in such a way that they follow the pay schedule of the absent payor. Custodial parents who have a child on public assistance is usually ordered to sign over rights to get child support in order to get the public assistance.

A well-informed New York child support attorney by your side from start to finish with your case against the other parent is just what you need. After the ordeal of a divorce, child support matters an be a smooth process or they can be as contentious as the divorce itself might have been. Prepare yourself by retaining an experienced attorney who knows New York family law.

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