Child Support: The Basics

Aside from custody and visitation, child support is one of the most important child-related issues that must be resolved during divorce, particularly because it is an obligation that can continue for many years. In fact, in New York, a parent may be responsible for paying child support until a child reaches the age of 21.

However, preparing the proper documentation and calculating payment amounts can be difficult without the help of a skilled child support lawyer. The dedicated legal professionals at Rieger & Fried LLP can help walk you through this complex process and answer any questions you may have regarding New York's child support guidelines. Serving throughout Nassau County and Suffolk County, reach out to us to learn more.

How Is Child Support Measured?

If one parent is awarded primary physical custody of a child during divorce, it is likely that the other parent will be required to pay child support. In New York, the amount of child support a parent must pay is determined using a mathematic formula.

While the details of this formula are quite complex, its results are based largely on the combined incomes of both parents, which can include:

  • Salaries and wages
  • Business income
  • Stock dividends
  • Retirement benefits and pensions
  • Disability benefits
  • Annuity benefits

However, these are merely a handful of the income sources that may come into play when determining child support. Given the complicated nature of these calculations, it is often advisable to contact a lawyer for help.

Modifying Child Support

After a child support order is in place, it is possible that substantial changes in circumstances over the years will warrant a modification to this order. This type of adjustment may occur for a variety of reasons, including when the needs of the child change or when the incomes of either parent dramatically decrease.

For instance, if the parent responsible for making child support payments loses a job or has a sudden drop in income, he or she may request a decrease in child support. To justify such a decrease, however, the decline in income cannot be self-imposed ― such as his or her choice to simply not work.

When Your Child's Future Is At Stake, You Need Help

If you have questions about child support, including whether a modification may be possible, contact Rieger & Fried LLP today to speak to an attorney. We offer our clients initial consultations. You can email our firm or call us at 516-712-2268.

We serve clients throughout Long Island and the surrounding areas, including those living in Garden City, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.