New York Child Support & Custody Lawyers
Don't give up custody! Don't lose child support money!
The Storobin Law Firm is a top quality Wall Street custody and child support law firm that can protect you and your children.
We are knowledgeable, experienced and diligent.
Our offices are located in Manhattan & Brooklyn.
Get the representation you deserve and fees you can afford!
1.Supreme Court Justice Joseph Silverman said about attorney David Storobin:
Why Should Storobin & Spodek be your Family Lawyers?
"He's an asset to the legal profession... very hardworking, mature and dedicated...
diligent and concerned about the quality of his work."
2. Affordable fee of only $650 per court appearance and no other hourly or hidden fees.
3. Documents are custom prepared just for you, instead of "cookie-cutter" forms.
4. Your family lawyer successfully appeared in court over 1,000 times.
5. Our attorneys and staff speak Spanish, Russian and French.
- Child Support & Custody: $650 per court appearance
- Prenuptual Agreement: $699
- Order of Protection: $699
- Will: $399. * Add a Living will for only $99 more.
- All Other Services: $199 per hour
Guide To NY Child Custody and Support
The information in this guide is for information and entertainment purposes only, and is not intended to serve as legal advice. We strongly recommend that you retain the services of a competent New York family and custody lawyer to defend you and your children.
When parents separate and cannot agree on a custody and/or visitation arrangement, it is sometimes necessary for the matter to be decided in Family Court or in the Matrimonial Part of the Supreme Court. If you are going through a family, child custody and support may be resolved in the Supreme Court. If you are have already obtained a family or were never married, you must file a petition for child custody or visitation in Family Court.
For a free consultation call a New York custody lawyer at (800) 391-8392.
The rule of thumb in custody and visitation matters is to consider what’s in the best interests of the child. Among the factors considered by judges are:
Stability, lifestyle, health and schedules of parents;
Criminal records, accusations of child abuse and domestic violence, and other complaints against parents;
Which parent has been the primary care giver;
Each parent’s parenting skills;
Each parent’s ability to provide food, shelter, and education for the child;
Child’s age, gender, health, routine, education and schooling;
Emotional bond of children and parents;
Willingness of each parent to encourage contact with the other parent.
The preference of the child is more important when it comes to older children and less so with pre-teens and toddlers.
Prior to making a decision, the court will usually order an investigation from a social-services agency or mental health professional, which may involve interviews with and analysis parents and children, psychological exams, and other information. It is very important to cooperate during the investigation if you would like to win custody of your child.
Each parent has the right to have an attorney present. Parents who cannot afford an attorney may get a Legal Aid. The children will have an attorney appointed to represent their interests. The child’s lawyer is called the “law guardian”. Because the law guardian is independent and is appointed to protect the child, his/her opinion will be important to the judge, and as such, it is key that you leave a positive impression on them.
What Is Custody?
An order of custody gives responsibility for guardianship of a minor child under the age of 18 to one or both parents. Where both parents have custody, it is referred to as “joint custody”. In joint custody, both parents make major decisions about the child together. In
sole custody, only one parent has the right to make the major decisions. By law, joint custody may be ordered only when parents can get along well enough to work together to protect the child’s best interests. Parents who cannot get along may not get joint custody.
Legal custody gives the parent the right to decide religious, educational, medical issues, such as what school the child will attend and whether or not the child will take medication. In some cases, one parent wants to treat a child’s disease such as ADHD and the other does not. In other cases, one parent may want to send a child to a school with a particular orientation, which may be opposed by the other parent. The decision in such cases is made by the person who has legal custody of the child.
Physical custody refers to the child’s residence. Both parents may have physical custody, which means the child lives with each parent half of the time. Alternatively, one parent may have sole physical custody.
What Is Visitation?
The parent who does not custody may still receive visitation rights. A person who has visitation rights may not make decisions as to doctors, school and other aspects of the child’s life. However, this parent may often request to receive reports from doctors and school, attend PTA meetings, and otherwise monitor the child’s life.
Court orders for visitation may specify days, times, and places the child may be picked up and dropped off, as well as where the child will spend holidays and vacations. Visitation may last anywhere from a few hours to several days, and sometimes several weeks in a row. The non-custodial parent may sometimes receive up to 3 days of visitation a week, though it is usually less in most cases.
Parents have the right to visit their children unless doing so is bad for the children. Custodial parents are strongly cautioned that they should not use their children as a means to get back at their former mates. Just because your ex was a bad spouse, it does not necessarily make them a bad parent. Trying to turn your child against the ex will be viewed very negatively by the judge.
On the other hand, visitation is not a right and in certain cases may be revoked, especially if the parent presents a danger to the child’s welfare. In other cases, visitation may be supervised to protect the child.
Who Can File For Custody & Visitation?
A person who has an interest in a child’s well-being and has a connection to the child may file a petition in the Family Court requesting custody. A copy of the petition and a summons must be delivered personally to the person or parties who have custody of the child. If one of the parents seeks custody, the other parent must be served. If a non-parent is seeking custody of the child, then both the child’s mother and father must be served. Non-parents must remember that courts generally prefer the parents to have custody, and non-parents, including grandparents, will be faced with a difficult challenge in trying to obtain custody.
Will Custody & Visitation Be Decided During The First Court Appearance?
It is very unlikely that custody and/or visitation would be decided during the first court appearance. Parents may come up with an agreement immediately and enter into a court-approved settlement. This is often done with the aid of the court attorney in the conference room in court, or informally outside the courtroom while waiting for the case to be called. Barring that, the parties should be prepared to fight in court for several months. Temporary custody, however, may be granted to one or both parents early in the case until permanent custody is decided upon.
Changing Custody & Visitation Orders
Both parties may file a petition to amend or modify the custody or visitation
order. To change custody or visitation, one must prove to the court that circumstances have changed since the earlier order. The court will hold a hearing to determine whether a change is best for the child.
Failure to Obey A Custody or Visitation Order
A party may file a petition if the other parent has violated the order. After the court holds a hearing, the judge may change the order. The judge may also hold a party in contempt of court for refusing to follow the judge’s orders.
In some counties in New York City, a custody or visitation case may, if all the
parties agree, be heard by a Family Court “court attorney referee.” This usually speeds up the process because judges often have extremely busy schedules and cannot hear cases for several months in advance.
Another possible option for parents is to go to mediation to reach a compromise or to narrow the legal issues. Mediation is a free, voluntary, and confidential process where the parents work with a mediator in an attempt to resolve their differences. If the parties agree on a parenting plan, the court must approve it before it becomes legally binding. In deciding whether mediation is a proper option, one must consider the relationship between the parties – if one of the parents is very dominant over the other, mediation may not work because of the unequal relationship between the parties.
How Do I File For Child Support?
If the child’s parents are involved in a family, one may ask for child support as part of the family proceedings in the Supreme Court and not in Family Court. If the parents are not presently engaged in family proceedings, then the petition must be filed in Family Court. If a child support or custody order was issued in Supreme Court, the order to change must also be filed in Family Court so long as the family proceedings have ended.
Non-emancipated children may also file against their parents for child support to take care of their financial needs. The Department of Social Services may file a petition against the non-custodial parent for child support for children in foster care or on public assistance.
Child Support and Visitation Rights
Even if you do not have the right to visit your children, you must still pay child support. Child support obligations and child visitation rights are not linked to one another.
Why Do I Need A Custody Lawyer?
It is strongly recommended that parties hire attorneys to represent them in all court proceedings to protect their interests. People are generally not entitled to a free lawyer in child support proceedings, unless there’s a possibility of a jail sentence for failure to pay child support.
Documents To Bring To Court
The parties must provide copies of their most recently filed tax returns, recent pay stubs, a completed financial-disclosure statement showing their earnings and expenses, copies of the lease, bills for electricity and gas, medical costs and insurance information, as well as education and child care expenses.
How Much Is Child Support?
The amount of child support depends on the parents’ income:
• 17% of the combined parental income for one child;
• 25% of the combined parental income for two children;
• 29% of the combined parental income for three children;
• 31% of the combined parental income for four children; and
• no less than 35% of the combined parental income for five or more children.
In reality, the only thing that matters is the income of the non-custodial parent, who must pay a certain percentage of their salary to the custodial parent. While in theory both parents must spend 17% (or 25%, 29%, 31%, etc.), since it is the non-custodial parent who gives money to the custodial parent, that’s the only person whose income matters. If your annual salary is $50,000 and you have one child, you will pay $8,500 no matter whether the custodial parent is making $500,000 a year or nothing at all.
If you have two children with two different people, you must pay 17% for each child. Likewise, if you have two children each with two different people, you must pay 25% to each of the two parents of your four children. If you are already paying child support and another person is demanding child support for your other children, you may get credit for your present payments, thus reducing your child support burden.
Additionally, parents may be required to split other costs, such as medical expenses (including any co-pays required by the insurance company), baby-sitting, summer camp, private school and much more.
When permanent child support may not be issued immediately, the magistrate may issue temporary child support.
How Do I Collect Child Support
Payments may be paid directly to the custodial parent or to the Support Collections Unit (“SCU”). SCU will then send the money to the custodial parent. Payments may be directly withdrawn from a salary in some cases.
Non-Payment Of Child Support
A “violation petition” may be filed against a person who’s not complying with the child support order. The petition may ask the court to take action against that party. A hearing is then held to decide whether the respondent is indeed in violation. The support magistrate may enforce the order by ordering the SCU to take the payments directly from the respondent’s paycheck, by ordering the respondent to pay a lump sum to reduce the amount of money owed to the custodial parent, or by taking other steps to collect the money owed, such as suspending the respondents driver’s, professional, and business licenses. Additionally, a jail sentence of up to 6 months may be imposed.
Modifying Child Support
If there is a change in circumstances – such as job loss, increased or decreased salary – both parties may petition to modify the order. The party seeking a change in the order must file a modification petition containing a statement explaining the change in circumstances. The court then holds a hearing to consider changing the order.
It is very important to file to change the child support order if you lose all or part of your income. In New York state, arrears cannot be changed prior to the filing of the petition. That means that if you wait several months to file to change the order after you’ve lost your job, you will still be responsible for the ordered child support, even if you will have no way to pay. The magistrate will not be able to help you by relieving your responsibility for arrears prior to the filing of the petition, no matter the circumstances.
Storobin & Spodek LLP
44 Court Street, Suite 917
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201
phone: (800) 391-8392
fax: (800) 391-7207
Storobin & Spodek LLP
14 Wall Street, 20 Fl.
New York, N.Y. 10005
phone: (800) 391-8392
fax: (800) 391-7207