What To Do If You Are Served With A Child Support Petition?

In New York State, you are obligated to support your children, it doesn’t matter if you are married or not. If one parent is not supporting their children or if you want a formal child support order, that is obtained through Family Court. The parent who wants child support, will file a “child support petition.”

If you are served with a child support petition, you need to know what to do and how to respond.

The petition will state the date, time and place where the petition will be heard. You need to appear on that date and time. If, there is an emergency or a valid reason why you cannot appear, then you need to make sure that you can get an adjournment of the court date. In those instances, it is extremely important to have an attorney appear for you to explain why you cannot appear on that date. If you simply do not appear, then the court can make a default ruling against you, which could seriously affect your rights and how much you have to pay in child support.

You will need to provide financial information and financial documents. Typically, you will need to provide: (1) your last year’s W-2 statement; (2) your most recent Federal and State income tax return; and (3) a recent paystub. You may also have to provide recent bank statements. It is important to have copies of these documents ready for the court and to have a copy for the petitioner.

If your income has recently declined, you will need to prove evidence of how much it has declined and why it has declined.

If child custody has not been officially established, you may to want to file a petition for child custody.

If you believe the child is not yours and you have not been acting as the father, then you may want to request a paternity test.

You have a right to present evidence and a hearing.  Therefore, there typically will be at least two court dates.

If you want legal advice on how to respond to a child support petition, then contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office. David Badanes has helped numerous clients in their child support petitions.

If you need an experienced child support attorney, please contact the Badanes Law Office at 631-239-1702 or email David Badanes, Esq. at david@dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport (Suffolk County office) and Garden City (Nassau County office).

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The Five Most Frequently Asked Questions in a Divorce

Although, every divorce is different, I find that many of my clients have the same or similar questions. The following are the five most frequently asked questions I am asked by my clients:

1. How much will my divorce cost?

Answer: Unless your divorce is a true uncontested divorce, with no children and no assets (i.e., both parties agree to get divorced and no one is going to challenge the divorce), it is virtually impossible to give an exact figure of how much your divorce will cost. There are just too many variables. For example, who your spouse hires as his/her attorney is an important factor, as some attorneys will drag things out (for no good reason). Another variable is which judge will be selected.

2. How long will it take for the divorce to be finalized?

Answer: Similar to the above answer, it is difficult to know exactly how long it will take for your divorce to be finalized. However, a good guideline is anywhere from 1 to 3 years, but, again, it may take shorter or longer, depending on how complicated or easy your divorce is.

3. How much money will I have to pay in child support (or receive in child support)?

Answer: Here, the answer depends on how many children you have and each parties’ income. If both parties are “W2” employees, then it usually can be determined how much you will pay or receive in child support. However, if either party is self-employed or earns “off-the-books” income, then it may be more difficult to determine the exact amount of child support.

4. Will I be able to stay in my house?

Answer: Your ability to remain in your house will depend on many factors, including: (i) whether you can afford the mortgage, real estate taxes and homeowner’s insurance by yourself; (ii) whether you will be able to pay your spouse his/her portion of their equity in the house; and (iii) the ages of your children.

5. Will I get custody of the children?

Answer: Since, there are so many variables, this is a very difficult question to answer in the abstract. In determining custody, the court will look at several factors, including: (i) who has been the primary caregiver; (ii) whether there has been parental alienation; (iii) availability of the parent; (iv) domestic violence, and many more factors.

At the Badanes Law Office, we know that you have lots of questions about your divorce. David Badanes has the experience to answer your questions from both a legal perspective and a practical perspective. Mr. Badanes has helped clients involved in very complex divorces as well as simple uncontested divorces, and everything in-between.

If you live in Suffolk County, Nassau County or New York City and need a divorce (matrimonial) lawyer, then call David Badanes, Esq. at 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our website: www.dbnylaw.com.

The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport, Garden City, Brooklyn and Manhattan.

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