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Consult Us Today If You Seek Child Support Counsel

Child support could include court-ordered payments, typically made by a noncustodial divorced or parent, to support one’s minor child or children while living with the other parent.

In almost every divorce that involves children, child custody and support need to be addressed. Child support can be a frustrating topic for divorcing families, and many individuals feel confused about how much is owed, why it is owed, and how long the payments will be required.

Working with our family law firm, Smith and Messina, LLP, can help you ensure that the payments you are to receive or pay are fair and serve to benefit the well-being of your child. At our firm, we stand ready to provide excellent legal services to divorcing families and ensure that the custodial and noncustodial parents understand child support payments and how they can be beneficial to their families.

How Can I Get Child Support?

Contrary to popular belief, child support is not awarded to a custodial parent as a form of punishment for the payee, but rather as a means to ensure that the child receives the best support available from both parents. Child support is a court order that is required to be paid per the determined payment schedule. Child support payments in New York are determined by fixed percentages:

  • One child – 17% of combined parental income
  • Two children – 25% of combined parental income
  • Three children – 29% of combined parental income
  • Four children – 31% of combined parental income
  • Five or more children – at least 35% of combined parental income

How Long Is Child Support Required?

Child support is generally required until the child reaches the age of 21 years old. In some circumstances, child support can be terminated earlier if a child becomes emancipated by becoming financially self-sufficient, gets married, or enters into military service. It is never a good idea to stop paying child support automatically. Instead, you need to request that the court allow you to stop making payments first. If you need help, you can always contact our firm for assistance.

Can I Modify Child Support?

While modifications to payments can be adjusted depending on specific circumstances, child support cannot be dismissed voluntarily or through bankruptcy. When you work with our firm, we can help you understand the calculations that are made to determine the cost of child support payments and answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding your payment schedule and enforcement of payments.

What Happens When Child Support Is Not Paid?

When it comes to child support payments, it is important that they be paid in full and on time. Failure to pay a child support agreement can have serious detrimental effects on a person’s credit and taxes. In some cases, not paying child support can lead to criminal charges. A custodial parent who is looking to collect past-due child support payments can go to law enforcement officials for help.

If payments continue to go unpaid, an arrest warrant may be placed against the nonpaying party. It is important to work with an attorney if you are unable to make ends meet while paying child support. Our firm could help you make temporary modifications to your support payments so that you avoid major legal complications in your family law case.

Experienced Representation From A Buffalo Divorce Attorney

Over the years, we’ve had the opportunity to assist countless individuals in achieving favorable outcomes in their divorce cases. Regardless of the specific concerns that they have, Smith and Messina, LLP, is able to address those issues and devote time to ensuring that families reach their legal goals.

Child custody and payments can be touchy subjects, and without the representation of the right family law attorney, you may be facing a lengthy legal process. To ensure that your family, future and well-being are taken care of, we encourage you to contact our Buffalo child support lawyers at Smith and Messina, LLP, right away. Contact us using our free case evaluation form to set up a consultation.