When parents divorce in New York, one question they face is how to continue raising their children in a stable and loving environment. New York courts make custody and support decisions based on the “best interests of the child.” Working with an experienced New York child support attorney can help you ensure that your child’s best interests are met.
Custody questions in New York deal with both “physical custody,” or where the child lives, and “legal custody,” or who can make important decisions for the child. When one parent is awarded physical custody, the other parent typically has the right to visitation. However, the non-custodial parent may be required to pay child support, even if he or she has regular visitation.
Child support in New York is intended to meet the needs of the child, not the child’s custodial parent. Child support may include cash payments, paying for the child’s health insurance and healthcare costs not covered by insurance, and paying for child care.
New York law requires parents to pay child support or otherwise care for children until the child reaches age 21. However, many circumstances in the life of the parents may result in a need to reconsider or recalculate issues of custody and support. It is wise to speak to an attorney as soon as possible if you suspect issues of custody and support will arise during your divorce or need to be reconsidered after the divorce is final. The sooner you seek help, the better prepared you can be to do what is best for your child.