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Child Support Bullet Guide (Part 3): Support Decisions and The Uniform Interstate Act

Man with dollar signMr. Shapiro frequently assists clients dealing with all manner of family law cases. As a divorce mediator, divorce attorney and child custody lawyer, Mr. Shapiro has addressed many of the complex nuances of divorce cases associated with things like child support, spousal maintenance, and equitable distribution. The articles on this website offer an insight into some of these complex topics.

However, if you’re struggling to find the right article to answer your questions, or you just want to learn a little more about child support law fast, this bullet guide could help. The various bullet guide series on this website compile useful information about family law into an easy-to-consume format.

This section of the child support bullet guide (part 3) covers family law and the uniform interstate act, as well as a brief description of support decisions that couples need to make.

The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act: New York

Every county of New York and Long Island has unique nuances to be aware of when it comes to family law and divorce cases. While the fundamental guidelines and laws in practice remain the same throughout the state, there can be various rules and processes that need to be considered depending on the judge, magistrate, or referee dealing with the case. Mr Shapiro’s extensive experience with family law in New York has allowed him to see cases play out in various court environments.

  • The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) appears to a certain extent within every American state. The version of this act in the New York courts comes from the Article 5-B of the Family Court Act. This act grew increasingly important when children and parents begun having connections to multiple states. The UISFA helps to decide which states can modify or initiate support orders.
  • Child support guidelines can vary from one state to the next. This is why it’s crucial to define which state laws apply to any case. In New York, people need to support their children until they are adults (the age of 21), or they become emancipated.
  • If proceedings begin simultaneously across multiple states, the Act for family law will determine which state earns jurisdiction. If New York delivers an order under the rules of New York family law, they will maintain jurisdiction for that order in most cases so long as a parent or the child remains in New York.
  • Orders implemented by a different state can still be registered within New York and be enforced here. Orders registered within New York should remain enforceable in this state, but they will not be open to modification unless the state that issued the original order releases jurisdiction or doesn’t have jurisdiction any longer.
  • Cases affected by UIFSA may begin in New York and request for other states to support those orders in a different state. For out of state or county residents, the out of jurisdiction party may be able to request to appear in court via phone call or video (of course during COVID, virtual appearances started to become prevalent and may still continue).
Crucial Decisions to Make on Child Support

In New York, child support lawyers, judges, and support magistrates use formulas built on the Child Support Standards Act to decide what amount to award under a New York child support order. The act is available in the New York family court act and Domestic Relations law, and it provides guidance on the amount a parent without residential custody should pay to support a child. This policy was designed to ease the disparity between court rooms on the amount of child support to be paid.

  • The courts of New York will follow the guidelines provided to determine a fundamental amount of money to be paid to a custodial parent. However, additional factors may affect the final order. The guidelines are available look at the gross adjusted income of the parents. However, the courts may need to look at things like local taxes, maintenance fees, and other expenses. The earning potential of the person paying the support, the extraordinary costs of using visitation time, and the age or health of the parent may also be considered.
  • Various methods are available to explore the options available for child support amounts. In mediations and negotiations Mr. Shapiro frequently uses a range of techniques to address the topic. Not every couple will be interested in using the guidelines for child support exactly. However, obligations must always be spelled out in an order or stipulation. An alternative option might be to divide expenses using an A/B strategy for example.
  • An A/B expenses plan can use A expenses to reference recurring or regular costs, and B expenses for non-recurring costs. The non-custodial parent in this case might contribute on set amount to cover these expenses or perhaps a set amount for one and percentages, as they are incurred for the other. All different variations can be explored and considered when the parties to the case are willing to agree to think out of the box.
  • When making decisions about the amount of support required, parents will also need to consider medical costs, and the extra expenses that may increase the basic support amount such as child care among other things. New York parties may also consider things like dental costs, insurance, glasses, and prescriptions. Decisions must be made about who needs to pay for various elective procedures.

If you’re concerned about any of the issues covered in this article, you can find additional support and guidance on the other articles published on Mr. Shapiro’s website. If you feel that you would like to discuss your case with Mr. Shapiro’s office, you can reach out to schedule an initial consultation. The first thirty-minute discussion is free, and you can arrange to speak over the phone, video call, or an in-person visit to the office.

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