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Understanding child support obligations in New York

If a New York noncustodial parent is sued for child support, he or she will be served with a summons to appear in court. If a parent believes that he or she has been served improperly, the parent is advised to show up on the day posted on the summons. He or she can then ask for a Traverse Hearing, which may result in the case being dismissed until the parent can be properly served.

Prior to the court date, a noncustodial parent may be asked to provide copies of pay stubs and tax returns to help establish his or her income. A child support order may be based partially or solely on what the examiner finds to be a fair income. If a parent is already paying child support, those payments will be deducted from that parent's income.

In the event that a parent remarries, that spouse's income will have little to no bearing on the amount of support that a noncustodial parent is ordered to pay. During this time, it may be possible for a father to dispute whether or not he is actually the legal father of the child in question. If the person being asked for support is not the child's father, he may have no obligation to pay support.

There are many factors that may influence the amount of child support that a noncustodial parent may be asked to pay. An attorney may be able to help a noncustodial parent keep his or her payments to a reasonable level based on state law. This may create a balance that keeps the best interest of the child in mind while also leaving enough money for the parent to make ends meet.

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