Getting Child Custody And Support Help

The Family Law Center in Chester, New York, welcomes couples with children as they seek experienced legal help with family law matters. The attorneys who work at the Center focus exclusively on family law, helping clients with everything from obtaining child support to establishing paternity.

Our goal in all legal matters involving children is to ensure that your child's best interests are protected and your relationship with your child is preserved. We can do this by helping parents establish, enforce and modify court orders to meet their needs.

Child Custody In New York

In New York, men often think that the courts favor mothers, but this is not the case. In fact, under state law, both parents have equal parental rights when it comes to child custody, visitation and child support. The court looks at a large number of factors when arriving at its decision. And if the father can demonstrate that he is the better parent in these areas, then he can obtain full custody of the children from the marriage.

This also applies to same-sex couples who now have the right to marry and divorce under the law. As matrimonial and partnership law expands to protect the rights of same-sex couples, so do the rights concerning child custody. This gives same-sex couples the ability to negotiate an arrangement that meets their needs and is also in the best interest of the minor children involved.

When you meet with a family law attorney at Gary Greenwald & Partners P.C., we will review the custody criteria with you, and help you determine your areas of strength and weakness. A child custody evaluator can be helpful as well.

Remember, you do not have to leave a custody arrangement to the decision of a family law judge. You and the other parent can arrive at a custody agreement on your own, with the help of your attorney or a child custody mediator. Most parents often find that the parenting time plans they arrive at on their own are more satisfactory than what a judge can order.

Child Support

Child support is the right of every child. It cannot be waived by the parents. New York, like every other state in the United States, has child support guidelines that outline the amount of support a parent will pay or receive. These guidelines consider income as well as expenses and family situations.

While it is possible that a judge's child support order can vary from the state support guidelines, it will only be done in cases where there is a proven need or reason for the child to receive more support, or a proven need for a parent to pay a reduced amount.

Many people are not aware that if they have been ordered to pay child support, they must also carry a life insurance policy that names the child as a beneficiary. This ensures child support will be paid should the parent die before the child reaches adulthood.

Contempt Of Court Orders

Most contempt issues arise from violations of existing child custody and child support orders. Some examples of violations include:

  • A parent repeatedly not picking up the children, not bringing them back at the scheduled time or failing to visit as agreed upon.
  • A custodial parent refusing to make the child available for the court-approved visitation.
  • Scheduling activities over vacation time to be spent with the noncustodial parent.
  • A parent moving too far away without getting permission, which makes visitation very difficult.
  • A parent failing to pay the court-ordered child support.

Violating an order or failing to comply with the court order can result in civil court action and even criminal charges. Failing to pay child support can result in the loss of your driver's license, wage garnishment, a lien on your home or even jail time. Problems with children could result in criminal charges of kidnapping or endangering the welfare of a child. This could lead to Child Protective Services involvement.

Our firm assists parents in resolving child custody and child support problems to avoid the serious consequences of violating a court order.

Contact Our Firm

If you need help with a child custody or child support matter, contact the attorneys at Gary Greenwald & Partners P.C. We have more than 40 years of experience handling family law issues. To schedule an appointment, call our offices in Chester, Wurtsboro and Poughkeepsie at 845-477-5692. You may also send us an email. Se habla español.