Residential custody of a child refers to an adult with whom the minor child (under the age of eighteen years) resides. Legal custody refers to the parents' power to make major decisions that concern the minor child.
In New York State, the parent having residential custody of the child is entitled to receive child support. Upon the parties' divorce, the issue of which parent shall have residential custody of the child is either agreed to by the parents with the assistance of their respective divorce attorneys, or resolved at trial.
In most divorce cases, the parents will share joint legal custody of their minor children with one parent having primary residential custody and the other parent also enjoying paternity.
In New York State, each parent is obligated to support his/her child until the child reaches the age of twenty-one years. However, each parent's obligation to support his/her child may terminate prior to the child reaching the age of twenty one years, among other reasons, upon the occurrence of any of the following events:
The obligation to support one's child applies to all parents, including parents who were never married, parents who are divorced and parents who have remarried since divorcing the child's parent.
The custodial parent (parent with whom the child resides) is presumed to fulfill his/her obligation to support his/her child simply by providing the child with the child's everyday needs, such as shelter, food and clothing. In New York, the non-custodial parent (parent with whom the child does not reside) fulfills his/her obligation to support his/her child by making child support payments to the custodial parent.
The determination of the amount of child support to be paid by the non-custodial parent is dictated by the Child Support Standards Act, or CSSA. CSSA determines the non-custodial parent's child support obligation based on the non-custodial parent's income, not on the child's needs.
To discuss your rights and obligations concerning child support or the learn more about different types of custody, please contact our office today to schedule your free consultation.