Saratoga Springs Child Support Lawyer
When a married couple with children goes through a divorce, determining which party will be responsible for paying child support is often a major concern. In the state of New York, both parents are responsible for ensuring their child’s care, support, and well-being. In most cases, the parent who does not have primary custody of their child pays support for the child. However, this is not always the case.
The laws governing child support are complex. As such, it may be best to talk with the Saratoga Springs child support lawyer if you are facing impending proceedings regarding your parental financial obligations or need help establishing an agreement with your former spouse. An experienced family law attorney could explain the legal guidelines and formula governing child support determinations, and guide you through each step of the process.
Factors That Determine Child Support in Saratoga Springs
There are a wide range of factors that a court considers when determining a parent’s financial obligation. State law outlines a specific formula based on each parent’s annual wages. The support amount is determined by merging the earnings of both parents, subtracting any taxes paid or other relevant deductions, and assessing a fixed percentage of child support from this total according to how many children the couple has.
For example, if couple has two children together, the child support amount would be equal to 25 percent of both parties’ combined salaries. The obligation assigned to each party will generally be based on the extent to which each parent’s salary comprises the combined total of their annual earnings. However, each parent’s child support obligation could be adjusted higher or lower depending on the facts of their situation.
If one parent earns significantly more than the other, for instance, or if the sum of both parents’ salaries is above the median household wage, they may be assigned a higher obligation than what the legal formula dictates. The court may also digress from the guidelines if one parent is unemployed through no fault of their own or earns a much lower income that affects their ability to pay the full support amount.
Besides income, the court generally looks at several other factors when determining a parent’s child support obligation. Factors such as the child’s specific needs, state of health, and lifestyle if the marriage had continued may also impact the court’s final decision. In some cases, it may be possible for the parents to work together with their local Saratoga Springs attorneys to reach an agreement for child support. However, the court still must approve the agreement and ensure that the contract adheres to any requirements stipulated by state law.
Duration and Modification of Child Support
Generally speaking, child support will continue until the child or children stipulated in the agreement turn 21 years old. However, there may be situations where support ends sooner, such as when the child relocates from their family residence and emancipates themselves. A parent also may request a modification to their support agreement, but only if a substantial change has occurred in either party’s situation that makes them unable to make payments. Establishing or altering child support can be confusing and few cases are exactly alike. A Saratoga Springs lawyer could assist with requesting or contesting a child support modification petition.
Reach Out to a Saratoga Springs Child Support Attorney
A Saratoga Springs child support lawyer could offer skilled and competent legal representation if you need help establishing an agreement with your ex-spouse. An attorney could help you reach an arrangement that establishes full and fair support obligations of both parties while ensuring that your child’s best interests and needs are met. To arrange your consultation with an attorney, give our office a call today.