I am a child support lawyer, and family law trial lawyer, who takes cases in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. I have been practicing in the Family Courts of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, since 1995. While I do not do divorce cases, I occasionally take cases from clients who wish to enforce spousal support or alimony orders in Family Court.
In order to be a truly affordable Staten Island child support lawyer, I charge significantly lower ($200 per hour) fees than fees charged by most, or possibly all, other Staten Island child support attorneys.
Until recently, I seldom took cases on Staten Island because I was a long-term Queens resident, and I did not think it was fair to charge a client for several hours’ travel time to and from the Staten Island Family Court. However, this year I moved to Staten Island, so my practice has changed.
This article is intended to give custodial and non-custodial parents (and the occasional grandparent) some general information and answer general questions they may have about how child support cases are handled in the Staten Island family court, as well as questions they may have about hiring an affordable child support attorney.
This article is not intended to provide legal advice about how to increase or decrease a child support order, or how to vacate child support arrears.
These topics are covered on other pages of my website. Other pages on my site discuss child support enforcement , how the child support guideline calculation tables work and how courts deal with income caps.
About The Staten Island Family Court
I primarily practice in the Family Court, although I do take appellate cases , mostly in the Second Department.
Some years ago, the Staten Island Family Court moved from a tiny courthouse, which included a trailer as an adjunct court room, to its present location at 100 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301. The Staten Island family court hears cases involving residents of Richmond county, as well as non-residents who have cases pending in Richmond county.
While cases are still, as of the date of this article, being held primarily virtually, the Staten Island Family Court is open to the public for the purpose of filing cases and examining records, from Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Staten Island Family Court has many free services available to the public, which include a free self-help center that provides information, advice, and resources to parents and other parties who are representing themselves, excellent mediation services available to parties who are involved in family law cases, and many other services for victims of domestic violence. The court offers interpreter services for parties who speak other languages.
Support Magistrates Generally Hear Child Support Cases
Although Family Court judges have the power to make child support orders, most child support cases in Staten Island are heard by Support Magistrates, experienced attorneys who are authorized to decide most types of child support case and enter child support orders. They can also modify child support payments, vacate arrears, and issue paternity orders on consent or after a default.
However, parties who are dissatisfied with the final orders of a child support magistrate have the right to file written objections to these orders, which will be decided by a Family Court judge.
Many Support Orders Are Based Upon The Income Of The Parties
Staten Island Support Magistrates will usually use a mathematical formula for determining the amounts of basic child payments and other child support obligations , such as child care and health insurance payments. The formula for basic child support is based upon the income of the parties, as well as percentages applied based upon the number of children, using the published Child Support Guidelines.
Applying the Child Support Guidelines does become much more complicated when the combined gross income of the parents, less Social Security, Medicare, and local taxes, is more than around $160,000.
Sometimes other complex issues come up, involving modification of previous child support orders, day care, overtime pay, self-employment income, and private school and college tuition, just to name a few. These issues may require you to hire an affordable Staten Island attorney with experience in handling child support cases in order to protect your rights and interests.
The Most Common Child Support Cases are Modification And Enforcement Cases
Child Support Modification cases tend to be more complicated because different legal standards can be applied based upon your individual situation, while child support enforcement cases can entail the possibility of jail time, and are often fiercely contested.
Affordable Representation- Experienced Trial Lawyer
Unfortunately, while attorney fees have always been high in New York City, in recent years due to severe increases in the cost of living and expenses, attorney fees that most New York and Staten Island divorce lawyers and child support lawyers charge have become ridiculously high. Despite having graduated first in my law school class, and having tried close to a thousand cases in Family court, I charge only $200 per hour on all Family Court cases, including child support cases, and I also charge reasonable up front retainers.
I also have extensive experience representing parents (both mothers and fathers), grandparents and the occasional non-parent caretaker who is not a grandparent in child custody and visitation cases in family court.
Feel free to check out my online reviews of satisfied former clients on Google.
I offer a free initial consultation by phone or Zoom where I will try to answer your questions about your Staten Island child support case or cases. Although it is impossible for any attorney, even one with a lot of experience, to guarantee results or a specific outcome for any court case, I only take cases where I believe that I may be able to help.
Please understand that sending me an email does not create an attorney-client relationship.
In addition to child support, my law firm’s other practice areas include child custody, visitation, orders of protection, and paternity.
If you have a child support hearing coming up, or just a quick question, you can call me today at (347) 461-0760) for a free initial consultation for your Staten Island child support case. Unfortunately, I do not have any interpreters in my law office to translate Spanish, Russian, etc., so if you need an interpreter, you will have to have someone to translate when you call.