Family Law

Family ties are thought to be the most private and enduring relationships in society. As most can attest, however, these relationships are rarely free from conflict. When domestic issues cannot be solved within the home, family law seeks to restore order and provide a fair solution for all parties involved.
For many, family law is thought to be synonymous with divorce proceedings. In reality, divorce is just a small part of family law which covers a broad array of domestic issues including adoption, premarital agreements, paternity and child support issues.

When legal action is necessary to resolve familial matters, it is essential that you entrust your most private matters with a compassionate and knowledgeable family law attorney. Our dedicated attorneys and staff serve as good listeners, confidants and advocates for all of our clients during their most difficult times.

 

Child Support - Modification/Enforcement

It is true that being a parent is a wonderful and rewarding experience, but it is also a time-consuming and costly responsibility. Many parents are having trouble financially supporting themselves and their children with the increasing costs of medical insurance and child care.

At The Codjovi Law Firm, we represent custodial and noncustodial parents in initial determination of child support, as well as post-divorce modification or enforcement. We can confidently address all issues affecting child support levels:

  • Incomes
  • Mandatory add-ons: day care, health insurance
  • Optional or court-ordered matters: private school tuition, college funding, camps and extracurricular activities
  • Special needs (medical, educational)
  • Hardship issues affecting ability to pay

 

New York State permits judges to order child support payments above and beyond the normal payments recommended in state guidelines under the Child Support Standards Act. *(maybe include link to CSSA statute) Additional support obligations are often required to help custodial parents pay for the additional medical expenses, child care and educational costs associated with raising their child.

If you are the recipient parent, we can investigate to make sure the other party is accurately reporting income so that you are not shortchanged in providing for your child's basic needs. If you are the paying parent, we can challenge attempts to make you pay more than your fair share.

Modification of Child Support

In New York, child support can be modified, if, for example, your income level has been reduced from a job loss, demotion or possibly from an illness. A salary increase by 15 percent or more from a new job or promotion can also prompt a change in how much child support you pay or receive.A recent change in the law also allows for modification, in most circumstances, if at least 3 years has passed since the last modification.  If child custody has been modified based on your child's best interests, this would also prompt an adjustment to child support.

Enforcement

Children have the right to receive financial support from both parents. Legal resources are available in the event that your child's other parent failed to provide court-ordered support. The Codjovi Law Firm helps clients enforce their child support orders so they can care for their children.

You are liable for any unpaid support even after your child has reached the age of 21 and is no longer entitled to support. New York has a 20-year statute of limitations for enforcing child support payments that are in arrears.

There are many enforcement remedies available such as wage garnishment and property liens. Parents who fail to pay court-ordered child support can be held civilly and criminally in contempt of court and sent to jail until the amount owed is paid in full. Courts may also impose additional sanctions, including:

  • Intercepting tax refunds
  • Suspending driver's licenses
  • Seizing property
  • Ordering payment of attorneys' fees