Child Support & Child Custody Attorney – Suffolk County, NY

Child Custody & Support Lawyer in Suffolk County NYWhen a couple decides to divorce, the support, custody and visitation of their children are often some of the most contentious aspects of the proceedings. Emotions can run high where the welfare of your child or children is concerned and too often they become pawns in a battle between parents who otherwise mean well. The child support, child custody and visitation attorneys at Robert E. Hornberger P.C. in Melville, Suffolk County, NY have the years of experience and advanced training to ensure that both you and your children are well protected with regards to their custody, visitation and support.

Our compassionate and experienced attorneys are well versed in all areas of child custody and support issues and will help to ensure that your child’s or children’s interests remain at the forefront of any negotiation with your spouse. Our experience and training provide a foundation upon which we can objectively view your case and ensure that we resolve your dispute in a way with which you will be satisfied and your child or children will be protected.

Our attorneys represent Long Islanders like you in the Suffolk County, NY court system on all matters pertaining to:

  • Child Custody
  • Visitation
  • Child Support
  • Orders of Protection
  • Neglect

Child Custody, Child Support and Visitation in Suffolk County, NY

When you retain an experienced child custody, child support and visitation lawyer with the law firm of Robert E. Hornberger, P.C. you will have the peace of mind of knowing that your attorney regularly and successfully protects the interests of children like yours throughout the Suffolk County Court system.

Our approach is to minimize any stress you or your child could experience from the divorce proceedings. We will attempt to work with you and your former spouse to negotiate or mediate an appropriate settlement out of court. When this is not possible or practical, our child support attorneys and child custody lawyers will aggressively litigate for you on your child or children’s behalf. Our success has provided generous support for many children and custodial parents throughout Suffolk County. We are also pleased to regularly and successfully defend many supporting parents from outrageous demands for support from their spouses.

Our lawyers have detailed and comprehensive experience with the Child Support Standards Act used to determine child support in Suffolk County. Our attorneys are proud of our record of success and look forward to representing you in your Child Custody, Child Support and Visitation case.

If you have received any correspondence from an attorney or the Suffolk County courts with regard to child custody, visitation or child support, or if you are planning to apply for child support or child custody, we strongly recommend that you contact the law offices of Robert E. Hornberger, P.C. immediately for counsel on your case. We will be pleased to demonstrate how we can help protect your legal rights and the rights of your children.

Common Child Custody & Support Questions

What is child custody?

Also referred to as Parenting, Child Custody is the parent’s legal right to direct and control their child’s upbringing. Each parent has the legal right to request Custody and Visitation of their child/children during divorce proceedings. The parent who is not awarded legal Custody may still be entitled to Child Visitation to enable them to spend time with their child

What is the difference between Legal Custody and Physical Custody?

Legal Custody is the right to make significant life decisions for your child, including schooling, religious training, medical care, etc.

Physical Custody is where the child lives on a day to day basis. The parent with primary Physical Custody is often called the child’s Custodial Parent or Primary Caretaker.

How will a judge decide child custody?

New York State courts consider the best interests of the children when making any decisions regarding child custody and visitation. Judges may consider any and all of the following:

  • The child/children’s primary caretaker up until now
  • The home environment of each spouse/parent
  • The “fitness” of each parent to be a stable caregiver (home life, lifestyle, judgment, employment, mental health, physical health, etc.)
  • Current and length of residence of the child/children
  • Ability of the parent to provide the child with intellectual and emotional support
  • Proven ability to provide the other parent with access to the child. In other words, does the parent try to keep the other parent out of the child’s life.
  • The desires of the child
  • Separation from the child’s brothers and sisters, if any
  • Any patterns of child abuse by either parent
  • Any history of domestic violence issues

What is Child Support?

Child Support is money provided by a non-custodial parent to the custodial parent for children under the age of 21. In New York, Child Support payments are based upon a formula called the Child Support Standards Act (see How Does a Court Calculate Child Support below). Child Support payments can be awarded in Supreme Court during divorce proceedings or in Family Court as part of a Child Support proceeding (see the section on Family Court FAQs). More information on Child Support can be found on our blog.

How does a court calculate child support?

New York State courts use a number of criteria in determining fair child support payments, including:

Each parent’s net income, not including FICA, NYC or Yonkers income tax, spousal maintenance or support, and child support payments for other children.

The court adds each parent’s net income together and multiplies is by a percentage dependent upon the number of their children, as follows:

  • 17% for one child
  • 25% for two children
  • 29% for three children
  • 31% for four children
  • No less than 35% for five or more children

If the parent’s combined income is $136,000 or lower, this number is then divided based upon the proportion of each parent’s net income to the combined income of both parents.

If the parents’ combined income exceeds $136,000, the court can then decide whether to apply the same formula to the income above $136,000.

Spouses may also be required to pay for other child care, education and medical expenses for the children in addition to the basic child support obligation.

Find more information on Child Support here.