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Rochester Family Law Attorney Resolves Child Support Disputes

Dedicated representation yields positive results

New York law makes both parents responsible for supporting their children. It doesn’t matter whether the parents are married, separated or divorced or have never been married. It doesn’t matter if the custodial parent has sufficient resources to raise the child alone. A court can order child support in any circumstance in which a parent is not contributing materially to the child’s upbringing. At the Law Office of Maurice J. Verrillo, P.C. in Rochester, we help custodial parents obtain fair child support orders through negotiated settlements and litigation in court. We also represent noncustodial parents to ensure that any order is based on an accurate assessment of their finances. As a Christian law firm, we are not interested in helping parents evade their responsibilities. Rather, we help our clients reach a reasonable and mutually beneficial result through the least adversarial means possible.

Are you eligible for child support?

The general rule is that if you are a parent providing a home for your child, you have a right to support from the child’s other parent. This applies if you are:

  • Divorced or legally separated — Child support is one of the issues couples must resolve before a court will finalize a divorce or legal separation. However, custodial parents can request temporary support during the proceedings.
  • Unmarried — A single mother can get a child support order from the child’s father as long as paternity has been established. If the father disputes paternity, the mother must file a paternity action and ask the court to order a DNA test.
  • Married — In rare cases in which a couple is married but one spouse refuses to contribute materially to the child’s support, the other parent can obtain a court order that mandates payments.

Parents do not necessarily have to litigate the issue of support in court. Many parents are able to reach a settlement through negotiations or mediation and present the settlement to a judge for approval.

How does New York calculate child support obligations?

New York uses the “income shares” model for calculating basic child support, starting with a simple formula based on the:

  • Total net income of the parents
  • Proportion of that income each parent earns
  • Number of children to be supported

For example, if there are three children, the parents must pay 29 percent of their income for support. If the total net income is $100,000 and the noncustodial spouse earns 60 percent, that parent must pay 29 percent of $60,000 or $17,400 over the course of a year. Since the children are living with the custodial parent, the law assumes that parent is materially contributing. If the parents share physical custody, the high-earning parent’s obligation is reduced based on the amount of time the children spend in each household.

There are additional factors that can cause a judge to deviate from the basic support order, either to increase or reduce support. These include:

  • The supporting parent’s ability to pay
  • Special needs of the children
  • Educational needs of the children
  • Tax consequences of an order
  • The standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the parents’ marriage had remained intact

To help you arrive at a fair and appropriate support settlement, we examine your finances, assess your children’s needs and apply the various factors the court would use to make its determination.

New York child support is enforceable until the child turns 21 or has become emancipated. Over time, you may need to pursue a modification of your child support order or enforcement. We are happy to help with these matters as well.

Contact a faith-based family lawyer in Rochester to settle your child support issues

The Law Office of Maurice J. Verrillo, P.C. in Rochester practices family law with a Christian sensibility. If you are engaged in a child support dispute for any reason, we can protect your rights while pursuing fair terms for settlement. Mention our website when you call us at 585-563-1134 or when you contact us online and receive a free 30-minute initial consultation.

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