Rochester Family Law Attorney Answers Common Child Support Questions
Dealing with a child support case is very overwhelming, stressful, and emotional for everybody involved. For those who have never had to deal with paying child support before there can be numerous burning questions that need to be answered. In order to deal with your child support case properly, you should be prepared and have a good general understanding of the ins and outs of paying child support. However, that can be easier said than done. Information found online can often be conflicting, not to mention the higher emotions involved with child support cases can make it difficult to determine the best course of action. Here, we will talk about some of the most common questions asked from a Rochester family law attorney, regarding child support.
How much does child support cost?
The thing about child support is that it’s determined on a completely case-by-case basis. Because of this, the amount that you pay will vary significantly, and you probably won’t be able to find a steadfast answer online for how much you can expect to fork out every month. Child support is based largely on your annual income. A court of law will determine what they deem to be a fair child support payment based on factors such as the income of both parents, employment status, the cost of living for the child or children, and the tax obligations of each parent.
In the majority of cases, the child custody arrangement will also have some impact on how much child support needs to be paid. This is because the parent who has primary custody or has the child in their care a majority of the time may be determined to need more financial support from the other parent.
What if my child support payments aren’t affordable?
There’s no beating around the bush, child support payments can be very expensive. As stated in the answer to the previous question, child support is based on a number of factors including income. Usually, a court of law will try to ensure that your child support payments are affordable.
However, if you experience a change in your financial circumstances, it’s critically important that you convey this change to the court. If you don’t explain a change in your finances, you will still be held liable for child support that you do not pay because you can’t afford to make payments. You can seek the help of a Rochester family law attorney to advise you if your financial circumstances are different from when your child support payments were initially determined. One thing is for certain, if you cannot afford your child support payments it is not acceptable to simply stop paying them. You need to seek an official modification from the court. Oftentimes, courts may allow for a decrease in or a temporary pause in payments if it is determined that your finances are not sufficient to cover current payments.
What happens if I am unemployed?
Child support, as stated before, is based on a parent’s income. Because of this if you are unemployed, it’s unlikely that you will have to pay for child support. But if you lose employment when you already have child support obligations you cannot simply stop making payments. In this case, you should contact a Rochester family law attorney or the court system in order to request a modification to your child support agreement based on the fact that you are no longer employed. A court will look at your current income status and adjust child support payments accordingly.
Be aware that being unemployed usually doesn’t mean you won’t have to pay child support payments ever again, but the court may grant you a freeze or pause in your child support until you can gain employment.
What steps can I take if the other parent stops paying their child support?
Unfortunately, it’s a fairly common scenario for a parent to stop paying child support payments at one time or another. You can start by trying to contact them and ask them why they haven’t made their payments. If you can solve the situation amicably and there is a simple explanation, then there may be no need to seek legal reparations for the missing payments. However, if you’re unable to contact the other parent and they are willingly choosing not to pay child support, or for any other circumstance which may become more complex, it is critical to take action with the court. In these circumstances, it’s ideal to contact a Rochester family law attorney so that you have legal representation and can ensure your rights are protected.
If the other parent claims that they can’t afford the child support, you may wish to advise them to file a petition with the court for a modification to their payments. Unless they do so legally through the court system, they will still be required to make their child support payments and you are still expected to receive them. Missing child support payments can cause a parent to face serious repercussions in court. Such repercussions may include the withholding of tax returns or even garnishing of paychecks in order to make up for missed payments. In the case that missing child support payments become a serious problem it’s always best to contact a Rochester family law attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will be able to advise you on the details of your individual circumstances and what course of action is best to take.
If you’re having trouble with child support, the expert attorneys at The Cimino Law Firm can help. We have over 20 years of experience dealing with child support cases. Call us today for a free consultation.
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