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New York Child Custody & New York Child Support

New York courts prefer that parents cooperatively work out the details of raising their children together after a divorce because, in the long run, it is in the best interests of the child or children. The court will get involved if the parents can’t agree, and will always look to the best interests of the child or children in deciding issues of custody, visitation and support. Following are the laws governing New York child custody and support.

New York Child Custody:

New York courts determine all custody issues as a function of the best interests of the children. It will consider all relevant facts and give the father and mother the same consideration regardless of the child’s sex or age. Either a sole or joint custody decision will be reached. The factors the court will consider include, among others: children’s age, their health, their wishes, the parental roles, and other needs of the children.

New York Child Support:

In New York, the Child Support Standards Act determines the amount, frequency, and types of child support. It is based on an adjusted gross income formula, and on a case-by-case basis can include add-ons beyond the base weekly or monthly amounts typically awarded by the formula. But in general, child support is determined in accordance with the Income Shares Model, where each parent’s income is considered in relative proportion, and the support amounts calculated from each parent then help decide which parent must pay the other in order to maintain correct proportion and provide for the needs of the child.

These guidelines are not always followed, but a decision to follow a different standard will require supportive evidence showing

1) all the factors that affect the parties’ financial obligations differently, and
2) how applying a different standard from the Model will more effectively preserve the best interests of the child(ren).

A lawyer can help you sort through your rights and responsibilities when it comes to childrearing after a divorce, and serve as your advocate and/or counsel when negotiating a parenting agreement.