One of the more contentious aspects of finalizing a divorce or creating an equitable parenting plan is making decisions about child support. One parent may object to the amount of child support that they are ordered to pay, arguing that it is too much based on their income, or they may try to delay the process simply to spite their former partner. Despite any differences, it is essential that the primary goal of any child support order is to meet the needs of the child.
If the non-custodial parent is in the military, that can further complicate the situation because of the unpredictability of their work and the additional child support regulations put in place by the military. An accomplished Rochester child support lawyer from Trotto Law Firm, P.C., can work with you to ensure that you understand the process and can create a child support order that meets all your child’s needs.
New York dictates that parents are responsible for the care and support of their children until they turn 21 unless the child is emancipated, which can be accomplished through marriage, joining the military, or supporting themselves. If the parents are not married or are going through a divorce, then a child support order may be put in place, where the parent without primary custody will have to pay support monthly.
To establish how much child support is recommended, the court will consider the parents’ combined income and how many children need to be supported. When that information is established, a formula will be used to determine the percentage of income that is required to support the child or children. This can range from 17% for a single child to 35% of the total income for a parent with five or more children. Establishing income and finalizing a child support order can be particularly difficult for parents in the military.
Establishing the income and expenses of each parent is an integral part of creating an effective child support order, but it can be difficult to know how much individuals in the military make because of how their pay is structured. Some expenses, like housing and food, may be provided by the military as non-monetary compensation for their work. There are also certain types of income for military personnel that are not subject to taxes, so simply looking at a tax return will not clearly establish accurate income. The most useful way to determine the total income and expenses of a parent in the military is to look at their Leave and Earnings Statement, which will outline their base pay, how many dependents they are claiming for tax purposes, and what other allowances they receive monthly.
In most circumstances, the amount of child support that a non-custodial parent will have to pay is determined by a mathematical formula developed by the state. This amount is based on the income of the parent and how many children they are supporting. It is possible for this recommended amount to be negotiated or changed, but it must be accepted by both parents in front of a judge for the change to be approved.
The state of New York requires that parents support their children until they are 21. This may include providing them with a place to live, helping them cover expenses if necessary, or assisting with the costs of their education. A child who is emancipated before they turn 21, such as a child who is married or enters the military, no longer requires support. There are very few exceptions to child support regulations, so if you want to terminate child support in New York, you will have to:
Each individual party will be responsible for paying the majority of their own attorney fees during a divorce or the creation of a child support order in New York. However, according to the Domestic Relations Law, one party could be ordered by the court to pay attorney fees for the other in certain circumstances. If, for example, one spouse earns significantly more, they may be required to pay at least a portion of the other’s attorney fees. Similarly, if one party is intentionally antagonistic or makes unnecessary problems, a judge may order them to pay some or all of the other party’s fees.
Working with an experienced child support attorney can make establishing a child support order easier, but you are not required to have a lawyer. You have the opportunity to represent yourself during the child support process, but it can prove to be a significant challenge because you will have to:
A skilled child support attorney can guide you through the process and ensure that it runs as smoothly as possible.
When parents split up, it can be difficult for their children because they are adjusting to a new reality without their parents together, emotions are often running high, and so much of what was familiar about their life has been changed. If one of the parents is an active duty soldier or other military personnel, that can present additional struggles because they may not be able to spend time with their child as consistently.
Child support orders are one way that parents can work to ensure that their children are able to enjoy a consistent lifestyle, even if their parents are no longer together. There are specific guidelines in place for parents in the military when they are determining child support orders, but trying to understand them can be overwhelming. An accomplished child support attorney from Trotto Law Firm, P.C., can help military parents understand how much child support is necessary, the correct way to make child support payments, and more. Contact us today for your military child support needs.
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