If you are in a heated battle over child support, then you may question whether you need to hire an attorney or attempt to handle the case pro se. You may have all the grit and determination in the world, but it will never make up for the lack of legal experience in such a trivial matter. Hiring someone, who has knowledge in child support and custody cases, is essential. Has your ex hired someone to keep from paying support for his/her children? Are you owed arrearages that are a significant amount? Do you need to establish paternity? If so, you need an advocate working hard for your family.
Many times, we see cases where a child is born out of wedlock, and the alleged father doesn’t want to pay. Paternity is automatically established if a couple is married. However, if the couple is not married, then the court must determine the paternity to make an order. The court will order a DNA test. If the alleged father is a match, then he will be ordered to pay.
Understanding Dollars and Cents
During a divorce or separation, the court will issue child support orders based on the income levels. Just because someone has a court order doesn’t mean they will pay faithfully. Some parents feel they shouldn’t support a child that doesn’t live with them. Others take the stance that the custodial parent has ample income to take care of the children’s needs, and they refuse to pay a dime.
Child support is a trivial amount of money when you consider the cost of raising a kid. It’s estimated that it takes $233,610 to raise a child from birth through age 18, which is $12,978 a year, or $1,081 a month. Most custodial parents don’t get anywhere near $1,000 a month per child. The state of New York has a standard of 17 percent of the income for one child and 25 percent for more than one. It’s easy to assume that a parent is financially set, but the other party usually has no idea the costs involved in child rearing.
Contempt of Court
Once child support orders are established, any parent that is negating their financial obligations can be held in contempt of court. Additionally, after a couple of contempt charges, they can end up in jail. If you are not receiving your payments, then you must file charges through the Support Collection Unit in family court. Each county has such a unit. These matters are quite heated, and they can be a considerable burden to bear alone. Having a qualified legal representative can ensure that you are handling issues appropriately and getting what you deserve.
It’s never okay to withhold child visitation if you are upset about past due child support. The court will handle this matter on your behalf, and if you follow your visitation schedule, then you won’t be in contempt either. There are no laws that say you cannot see your children unless you are paying child support. Game playing between the two parties only hurts the child.
Modifying Current Support Obligations
If a person loses their job or switches careers, then it may affect their child support obligations. Take for instance a person that makes $1,500 a week. They are required to pay $255 out of their check for support. However, if they lose their job, or take another job that pays less money each week, then they can get a reduction.
The court is understanding regarding financial matters. If a person is trying to provide and has a good payment history, they will work with you. The problem often occurs when people try to hide income, work under the table, or switch jobs often making it hard to track. A lawyer can help either party when there are issues regarding the child that need legal expertise.
Child Support Legal Assistance
The family court in the Queens area is bustling. Numerous support cases are being fought out every day. Going to battle without an attorney is never a wise decision. If you are tired of fighting your ex regarding support, you need to reduce your child support obligation, or you have an ex that is withholding the children based on financial demands, then you need help.
Todd is a miracle worker who will work tirelessly for you and your family. He is one of the few attorneys i've met - who I earnestly trust to protect me, and who I am happy to refer to our friends and fellow family members. The Spodek Law Group is someone you want on your side, because they will treat you just like family. Todd and his team are available 24/7, and they always answered our calls. Even when we were being irrational, and crazy - they were calm and super helpful. Just call Todd. He gives you a free consultation and is very understanding.- Donna & Robert
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