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Custodial parent child support Q and A

Those who have questions about child support in New York may not know exactly where to turn. Thankfully, there are numerous resources available that address this topic. This column will address some of the common questions and concerns that custodial parents, in particular, may have about child support and support services.

What is child support? Child support is simply providing financially for one's children. Non-custodial parents may be ordered to make payments, provide health insurance or provide money for child care. The amount ordered, which typically lasts until the child is 21 years of age, will be determined based upon the needs of the child, the number of children being supported and the parent's income.

Any parent or guardian who is in need of support can access child support services. What services are offered by the state? Services include paternity establishment, locating non-custodial parents, support collection and enforcement -- among various others. One's legal counsel can also assist with some of these issues, particularly when it comes to obtaining orders of support and modifications.

When child support is desired, a petition must be filed in a New York Family Court. If an order has previously been approved and a modification is needed, again the proper requests must be made in court. Fighting for orders of support or modifications is not necessarily easy. Having legal counsel on one's side throughout the process may prove highly beneficial to one's case, and can help produce results that are in everyone's best interests -- particularly those of the affected children.

Source: childsupport.ny.gov, "Custodial Parent Information", Accessed on March 23, 2016

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