Divorce can significantly impact an entire family, especially if the couple has any children. If so, they must determine new arrangements for their future. During divorce proceedings, courts stress the importance of maintaining a stable life for a child. In order to do so, child support payments can be paid from one parent to another. This allows the child to have the same standard of living they were used to before the divorce.
When determining the amount for support payments, judges take several things into consideration. To come to the fairest decision for the family in question, courts follow the calculations of the New York State Child Support Standards Act. This takes a percentage of the parents’ combined income and distributes it in proportion to the individual income up to $80,000. Essentially, the greater the number of children a family has, the greater the percentage of support payments. In addition to this, courts will also consider other factors that influence a parent’s earning capacity. This can include income, debts, assets, education, tax implications, financial resources, age, and health as well as the academic and social life of the child.
Age of Emancipation
Parents who have physical custody of their child spend the most time with them. This involves them providing the child with a home, food, clothing, education, and more. They are responsible for the child’s basic upbringing. It is because of this that the non-custodial parent is required to also financially assist the child. This exists to help the other parent handle the child’s cost of living. Child support payments end when a child reaches the age of emancipation and are able to support themselves. In the state of New York, this age is generally 21 years old.
Every family is different from one another. Situations may present themselves throughout life that calls for modifications of support payments. Because of this, they may not always end at 21 years old. Sometimes, courts may make exceptions to the law and extend these payments if a child can not yet support themselves. Alternatively, a parent can also petition the court to end child support payments before the usual emancipation age. If they believe a child over the age of 18 is financially dependent and no longer need assistance, they must prove so to the court in order to terminate their obligation to pay support. When the court approves of emancipation, child support payments may end.
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Matters of divorce and family law should be navigated with the guidance of an experienced attorney. If you need strong legal representation regarding matters of divorce, family law, and estate law, contact the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. to schedule a consultation today.