In the U.S., there are approximately 15 million custodial parents caring for their children. The parents of the children may or may not have been married. Less than half of those custodial parents have either a legal or informal agreement with the other parent for child support.
It’s not known how many non-custodial parents contribute to the support of their children without an agreement in place. It might be time to consult a child support attorney in Commack. Children are entitled to support from both parents.
Suppose a woman with a child marries someone who is not the father of the child and who does not legally adopt the child. The biological father is still legally obligated to contribute to the support of the child. However, the mother may not know where the biological dad is or may decide she doesn’t need or want support from him.
Then the situation changes. The mother divorces, the stepfather dies, or there is a job loss. Child support from the biological dad is now a necessity. If the mother applies for government assistance, the government will probably go after the biological dad for child support including back payments. Even if the biological dad didn’t know that he fathered the child, he would still be obligated to provide support. He would have the option of requesting a DNA test but, if the test is positive, he must pay child support. It doesn’t matter whether or not he had been married to the child’s mother.
Consider other possibilities. There is a child support agreement in place. The child’s needs have changed, possibly because of a health issue that requires expensive treatment. The custodial parent may have to quit work to take care of the child. Alternatively, either parent’s income has substantially changed, requiring changes in payments.
Child Support Orders can be Modified
It’s time to renegotiate the agreement. The Child Support Standards Act allows a court-issued child support order to be modified if:
- The non-custodial parent’s income increases or decreases by 15%
- The support order is more than three years old
- There is a substantial change in circumstances
A child support attorney in Commack can assist you whether you need to create or modify a formal or informal child support arrangement. At Todd J. Zimmer & Associates, you’ll find experienced New York Family Court attorneys who can help. Call 631-493-0278 today to schedule a free consultation.