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Child Support Attorney Serving Saratoga Springs, New York

The dissolution of a relationship can be an emotionally trying time, and when children are involved, the situation becomes even more complex. Understanding child support laws in New York can alleviate some of this stress and empower you to make informed decisions for your child's well-being. 

With profound knowledge of New York's child support guidelines, attorney Clarisa Gentile at CSG Law Firm is committed to ensuring fairness and consistency for both parents. The firm understands that every family's situation is unique, and they're dedicated to helping clients make informed decisions that protect their child's wellbeing. 

Reach out to the CSG Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation. Let them assist you in understanding the factors considered in determining child support and modifying an existing arrangement.

Understanding Child Support in New York

New York's child support guidelines are designed to ensure fairness and consistency. These laws don't just consider the income of the non-custodial parent or "other parent" but also take into account the financial situation of the custodial parent or "co-parent." The court's objective is to maintain the child's standard of living as if the parents had remained together. 

In New York, the non-custodial parent is usually required to pay child support until the child turns 21. However, the support may end earlier if the child becomes self-sufficient, enters military service, marries, or passes away.  

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Factors Considered in Determining Amount

When it comes to determining the amount of child support, the court looks at several factors. These include both parents' incomes, the number of children, the child's healthcare and educational needs, and the lifestyle the child would have enjoyed had the parents stayed together. Extraordinary expenses related to the special needs or talents of the child may also be taken into account. Providing accurate financial information is key to ensuring a fair assessment. 

The amount of child support is determined by the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA). The CSSA applies a standard formula based on the parents' combined income and the number of children to be supported. For example, 17% of combined parental income is set aside for one child, 25% for two children, and so forth, up to a maximum cap currently set at $154,000 of combined parental income. If the parents' combined income exceeds this cap, the court has the discretion to apply or not apply these percentages to the portion of the income over the cap. It's important to note that these laws are subject to periodic review and may change over time. 

Imputed Income

Imputed income, in the context of child support, refers to the income that a court attributes to a parent, regardless of their actual income. This usually occurs when the court believes that the parent is intentionally earning less than they are capable of, either by underemployment or unemployment, in an attempt to reduce child support obligations. 

While the court's main objective is to ensure the child's well-being, it also aims to prevent any parent from escaping their financial responsibilities. Therefore, if a parent is found to be voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, the court may "impute" or assign an income based on various factors such as their work history, education level, local job market, and earning capacity. The imputed income is then used in the child support calculation formula. 

In New York, the court may also consider the income a parent could potentially earn from their assets, such as interest from investments or rental income from properties. This is particularly the case if the parent has a significant amount of assets but a relatively low income. 

However, it's essential to note that imputation of income is not automatic. The court will look at the circumstances surrounding the parent's employment situation before it imputes income. For instance, if a parent is unemployed due to health issues, recent job loss, or other reasonable circumstances, the court may decide not to impute income. 

Modifying an Existing Arrangement

Child support orders aren't permanent. They can be altered if there's a significant change in circumstances. For instance, a substantial increase or decrease in either parent's income could warrant a modification. Changes in the child's needs or expenses could also justify a modification. Consulting with a child support attorney is crucial to successfully navigate the modification process. 

Termination of Child Support

Child support typically ends when the child turns 21 or becomes emancipated. However, child support might terminate earlier under certain circumstances, such as if the child gets married, joins the military, or becomes financially independent. Knowing the specific termination criteria in your child support order ensures you stay compliant with the law. 

Child Support Attorney Serving Saratoga Springs, New York

When it comes to child support issues in Saratoga Springs, New York, CSG Law Firm stands ready to offer expert legal guidance and support. Attorney Clarisa Gentile is well-versed in child support laws and committed to safeguarding your rights and your child's best interests. Don't navigate this complex process alone.

Reach out to CSG Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation and take the first step towards securing a brighter future for your child. The firm offers guidance and support to clients in Saratoga Springs, Fulton County, Schenectady County, and Albany County.