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Child Support FAQ

Child support is an important part of many divorce agreements. The arrangements and requirements for child support can be confusing, so don't hesitate to contact a trusted Rome divorce lawyer if you want to learn more about how child support applies in your unique family law case.

Common Questions About Child Support

What is child support? - Child support is the money that one parent pays to another parent for the specific purpose of covering costs associated with the raising of their child. The money will go to food, clothing, school expenses and other living expenses that are associated with raising a child.

How long does child support last? - Not all child support orders are equal. One parent may only need to pay temporary child support, while other parents may need to pay child support until the child graduates from high school or even into college. In New York, the court has determined that if a parent's combined income is $136,000 or less the income will be divided and then calculated based on the number of children.

The percentages for the calculation are:

  • 17% for one child
  • 25% for two children
  • 29% for three children
  • 31% for four children
  • 35% or more for more than four children

These percentages are then juxtaposed with the basic division of income and determine which amount of money the individual is responsible for. Sometimes the calculations can get complicated, so it is best to ask a lawyer to calculate specifically for you in your case.

What factors do the courts take into account when deciding child support?

  • Some of these factors include:
  • The financial resources of each parent
  • The education needs of either parent
  • Tax consequences to each parent
  • The standard of living prior to divorce
  • The child's health (special needs)
  • The child's emotional state
  • The non-monetary contributions parents will make towards raising the child
  • Each parent's gross income and the comparison of incomes
  • The needs of any other children that the non-custodial parent is supporting

I don't have a job. Do I still have to pay support?
Income doesn't always come in the form of a monthly paycheck. Forms of income that you can use to pay child support include:

  • Worker's compensation
  • Pensions
  • Fellowships
  • Stipends
  • Annuity payments
  • Disability benefits
  • Unemployment
  • Social Security payments
  • Veteran's benefits
  • Retirement benefits

What if the amount of child support I'm required to pay is more than I can afford?
The court's calculations can be overwhelming. In this situation, you will want to consider talking with a judge and explaining why the mount is too much for you. If you are suffering from an illness or if your pay has decreased significantly in the past few years, you may be able to argue that you are not in a condition to pay the amount of child support requested.

What if my finances change and I can't make payments?
The courts understand that circumstances change. What once seemed like a great payment plan may become impossible after job loss or a medical condition. If you are facing a situation of this nature, don't hesitate to contact the courts and discuss a modification in support.

My ex and I have already worked out a spousal support agreement. Can we use that instead?
If you and your spouse waive the right for child support obligations, you can then implement your own plan that you came up with an amicable divorce. The child support plan must still be approved by the court before it can be implemented.

Call a Rome Divorce Lawyer Today

Your child support situation is unique and deserves customized answers. Call a professional Rome divorce lawyer at the firm today if you want more information about child support and how to arrange a satisfactory plan.

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