Divorce, Child Support, and Custody:
George has been handling divorce cases since 1978. He has tried many cases and settled hundreds of cases. While a settlement is always preferred, it is sometimes necessary to have a judge decide the outcome if an acceptable compromise cannot be achieved. Almost all clients who get divorced feel as if the process goes on forever. While some cases are more complicated, George tries not to get his clients bogged down in mountains of paperwork, endless bickering and whining and drawn out issues.
In August, 2010, New York passed a no-fault divorce law which ended the need to prove grounds for divorce. After the issues of custody, support and property distribution are settled or decided by the Judge, either spouse will be able to obtain a divorce.
A parent's child support is based upon a percentage of income. The general rule is that a non-custodial parent will pay 17% for one child, 25% for two children, 29% for three children, and 31% for four children. These percentages will be applied strictly for the first $130,000.00 of combined (mother and father) income. Once the combined income exceeds $130,000.00, a parent may be ordered to pay more if the children's needs and life style justifies a higher amount.
Custody is best decided by the parents themselves. If the parents are unable to agree, the Court will decide custody based upon "the best interest of the child". Fighting between parents and fighting over the children can be harmful to the children. Parents should try and remember that divorce is a sad experience for a child. How a child responds to divorce will depend on how the parents behave during and after the break-up. Studies have shown that ongoing strife and bitterness will likely cause the children emotional harm. The best course is to reduce the conflict in the post-divorce family.