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What Are the Child Support Laws for Unmarried Parents?

Posted on : January 4, 2021, By:  Mary Katherine Brown
Brooklyn-Child-Support

Getting child support after splitting with your child’s other parent is a process that differs somewhat from getting child support after a divorce. Here’s what you need to know about the child support laws in New York for unmarried parents and how to get help pursuing the support your family needs. 

Paternity Testing Is Required Before Child Support Is Ordered   

To ensure that child support is ordered only from the biological father of the child, an unmarried parent must have a paternity test done. This is not the case in a divorce, where the child’s father is presumed to be their biological one. To be considered admissible in a New York court of law, the paternity test must be conducted by an approved establishment, such as a laboratory or doctor’s office. 

Custody and Visitation Impacts How Much Support Is Awarded   

Child support is designed to help distribute the costs of caring for a child between both parents and cannot be awarded until custody and visitation are decided, even if it’s on a temporary basis. This is because typically, the more time the non-custodial parent spends with their child, the less they will have to pay in child support. The opposite is also true; the more time the child spends with the custodial parent, the more child support the other parent will have to pay to compensate for the child’s care. 

The Payor May Not Be Obligated to Pay Over a Certain Percentage of Their Income   

Although many people believe a non-custodial parent can be court-ordered to pay more child support than they can afford, this generally isn’t true. Courts require a payor to provide up-to-date information about their income from all sources and use this information to calculate a fair percentage using an established mathematical formula. In cases where the child spends roughly equal time with the non-custodial parent, the amount of child support ordered is likely to be reduced in correlation. 

If the non-custodial parent experiences a job change or life event that causes them to earn more or less money, either parent can petition for a modification of the child support order. 

Learn More About Child Custody Laws in New York — Call Today 

If you’re considering moving on from your relationship with the other parent of your child, you need someone on your side who is representing your family’s best interests and protecting your rights. Call Brooklyn family and divorce lawyer Mary Katherine Brown today for a consultation at (718) 878-6886. 

 

Posted in : Child Support ,

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