Child Support

Child Support

Darren M. Shapiro, Esq. knows the law on child support and will make sure that you understand your rights. He will fight hard to protect your interests, if you are litigating child support issues in a divorce or family court. When everyone is willing to discuss the matter amicably, we are very happy to pursue favorable agreements and settlements. Let us help you achieve the result that makes sense for you, sooner rather than later.

This office has represented custodial parents, non-custodial parents, mothers, fathers, husbands, and wives in many child support cases all around Long Island in Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, the rest of New York City and the surrounding areas. He draws on his years of experience as a lawyer to best advocate for his clients. As an attorney, Darren tries to sense when to talk peacefully and when it is time to be aggressive. He is approachable to his clients which aids in discussions about the case and strategy.

In your free initial consultation, we can discuss the different tools that can be used to resolve your child support issues. The different approaches include most of the same options that are available for your other family law matters. The routes include litigation, out of court settlements, separation agreements, post-nuptial agreements, mediation, and collaborative law. We have the training and experience to handle your case, whichever approach is the best fit for you.

While a divorce case is not currently filed, parents have the option to pursue child support in family court. Darren can help decide which court is the right one for you when it is time to file the case.

Child support cases can be started, enforced, or modified in a New York Supreme Court as a result of or after a divorce action. Child support cases may also be started, enforced, or modified in Family Court as long as a divorce is not currently pending.

The guideline amount of child support, on the other hand, is determined by a formula set forth by law and is usually fixed as an obligation of the "non-custodial" parent. The formula is usually followed by the court, but your lawyer may persuade the court that the calculation is unjust or inappropriate based on a variety of factors.

Any party to a child support order made now has the right to seek a modification of the child support order upon a showing of: (i) a substantial change in circumstances; or (ii) that three years have passed since the order was entered, last modified or adjusted; or (iii) there has been a change in either party's gross income by fifteen percent or more since the order was entered, last modified, or adjusted; however, if the parties have specifically opted out of subparagraph (ii) or (iii) of this paragraph in a validly executed agreement or stipulation, then that basis to seek modification does not apply.

The prior paragraph, regarding modifications of child support orders, is a change in what used to exist in the law for cases decided before November 2010. The default standard in order to be able to modify consent orders used to be that an unanticipated change of circumstances that made the current amount of child support unreasonable or that the children’s needs were not being met by the amount of child support was required. Often, changes of income or the passage of time was not enough to change the child support amount without additional criteria being met. This made both upward and downward modifications of child support more challenging than it is today.

Jail time is a possibility in cases of willful violations of child support orders. If there is a child support order that is not paid, there is a presumption that there is a willful violation. The burden of proof then shifts to the payor to prove that there was not a willful violation.

The stakes are high when dealing with child support. Couples contemplating mediation are invited to come in to our Long Island office in Nassau County for a half hour no fee consultation. Individuals can call for a free initial consultation with a caring attorney that will fight hard for you.

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