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Divorce Law

Child Support Law - General Rules

We Have Two Decades of Experience Helping Parents Obtain, Enforce and Modify Child Support Payments

After going through a divorce, the child or children of the marriage will likely have their primary residence with one of the parents.   In New York, the parent with whom children reside is referred to as the parent with physical custody.  In New Jersey, the parent with physical custody is frequently referred to as the Parent of Primary Residence (with the other parent designated Parent of Alternate Residence).   In both New York and New Jersey, there are cases in which both parents exercise equal parenting time with their child or children.  In such situations, the parents have joint physical custody.  In New Jersey, joint physical custody is sometimes referred to as shared parenting.  However, most couples find that joint physical custody is not a practical solution.

In most circumstances, the non-custodial parent will be responsible for paying child support to help pay for the needs and education of the child, and the custodial parent is usually not required to account for the child support he or she receives. Things such as voluntary gifts, clothes or transportation are not considered as child support.

All states have child support schedules that are used to calculate the basic amount of “presumptive” amount of child support that the non-custodial parent is required to pay.  However, there are a variety of factors that the parties themselves (or a judge) may consider to fashion a child support award that deviates from the presumptive amount.  In addition, child support laws of both New York and New Jersey provide that a judge may “impute” income to a non-custodial parent if the judge determines that the parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, or if it appears that the noncustodial parent is not being fully forthcoming about his or her income.   Because the rules involving imputation of income for child support purposes are complex, it is essential that you consult with an experienced New York or New Jersey child support attorney if you believe that the issue of imputing income may arise in your case.

In New York, a child support obligation generally continues until the child or children reach the age of 21 years.  However, under certain circumstances, the child may be considered “emancipated” before reach the age of 21.  In New Jersey, there exists no absolute cut-off for child support, and courts have the authority to direct non-custodial parents to continue paying even after the subject child’s 21st birthday.

If you need assistance in any legal matter involving child support, knowledgeable legal help is available to you from the divorce lawyers at Rapaport Law Firm.  Our attorneys have assisted clients with New York and New Jersey child support matters since 1995.  Our creative advocacy on behalf of our firm’s clients has led to numerous published legal decisions that have profoundly influenced family law.  We have the knowledge, experience and dedication to help you protect your rights in any child support matter – ranging from the most simple to the most complex.

Some of Rapaport Law Firm’s Published Child Support Decisions are Listed Below:

The Family Law Attorneys at Rapaport Law Firm Assist Clients with Child Support Negotiations, Trials, and Appeals in All New York and New Jersey Courts and Counties  We Also Have Extensive Experience Helping Parents with Inter-State and International Child Support Disputes.  


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One Penn Plaza
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New York, New York 10119
Phone: 212.382.1600
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