Unsure of what your child support payments will be? New York laws are clear in that it is the responsibility of both parents to support their children until they turn 21. Not only that, but they must provide healthcare coverage until the child is 21. The exceptions are if the child is emancipated, as well as the following:
- The child is under 21 and married,
- The child is under 21 and in the military; or
- The child is self-supporting
Of course, the specifics are more detailed. The parent without custody, also known as the non-custodial parent, is required to pay to the custodial parent child support in an amount determined by the courts.
If the parents were not married when the child was conceived, a paternity test may be in order if the assumed father requests it.
In the event the parents are living together, married or not, one parent may seek child support if the other parent refuses to voluntarily provide for the child.
In some instances, the child is not in either parent’s custody and is instead in foster care. In these instances, both parents can be ordered to pay child support.
Child support, regardless of the circumstances noted above, can be ordered when a couple is divorcing or when one parent refuses to pay support, regardless of the marital situation of either party. These petitions can be filed in Family Court or through the Child Support Enforcement Unit in Rochester. If it’s part of a divorce case, your child support attorney will guide you through that process and if it’s not part of a divorce, you should still consider seeking out legal guidance.
There are a few more important elements that are part of the child support collection process in Rochester and throughout New York. If you or your child are receiving any type of assistance, the child support that is awarded to the child is funneled to the Human Resources Administration, where a portion will be used to pay back the public assistance each month. Recipients will still receive child support, but it will be less than what they would receive if not for the public assistance.
Not only that, but if the non-custodial parent is not paying due to an inability to locate him or her, you must provide HRA with any information you may receive that can help locate the parent. To not do so could jeopardize any public assistance you receive.
In the event the parents get along and have worked out a solution between the two of them, the courts will generally accept the agreement, provided it meets a few conditions. Your child support lawyer can explore those conditions and help ensure the agreement is approved and accepted by the courts.
In a perfect world, child support would be paid on time and in such a manner that ensured no child went without having his or her needs met. When that doesn’t happen, there are mechanisms in place that can help offset the loss of the support of a parent who is not in the picture.