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My ex is behind on alimony and child support. What recourse do I have?

You can go to the court clerk’s office in the court that ordered child support and request the clerk issue a garnishment against the supporting parent’s wages. To do this, you need to know your ex’s place of employment, address, and Social Security number. If your ex is at least one month behind, the court sends a garnishment to the employer and the support will be taken out of his or her paycheck. You could also go after your ex’s property, but this is a longer process and might not be as satisfying, since cars and homes are often leased and mortgaged. Another option is to file a petition for contempt and get an order to show cause, why the payments are not being made. This puts your ex back in court. A skilled family law attorney can review the options with you and guide you to the best solution for your needs. Back to top

I am the custodial parent. Can I deny visitation?

The purpose of visitation rights is for children of a divorced couple to understand they have two parents who are entitled to love their children and be loved in return. If the children come back from a weekend with their non-custodial parent and are upset or tell you they do not want to go anymore, that is not reason to deny visitation unless their health and welfare are endangered by the visitation. If you are having a disagreement with your ex or harbor ill feelings, that is not reason to deny visitation. However, the non-custodial parent is entitled to reasonable visitation. That means if he or she wants to see your child in the middle of the night or is drunk or stoned, you do not have to permit visitation. Back to top

I am the non-custodial parent. Can I decide not to accept visitation?

You are entitled to reasonable visitation. If you are unable to comply with the visitation schedule, you and your ex might be able to work out  alternative arrangements. Remember your children deserve the love of both their parents. Back to top

How is child support calculated?

A set of New York state guidelines determines the amount of money the non-custodial parent pays for child support. The amount is based on that parent’s gross income adjusted for deductions such as Social Security. The court then multiplies the adjusted gross income as defined and limited by statute by the standard guideline percentage for the number of children. These percentages are as follows:

  • 17% for one child
  • 25% for two children
  • 29% for three children
  • 31% for four children
  • At least 25% for five or more children

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I have been divorced for a while and would like to change some of the provisions in the divorce decree. If my ex and I agree would the changes be valid?


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