If you and your child’s parent are not married and have decided to split up, you likely have a lot of questions about the legal aspect of your situation. Read on to learn more about child support and child custody for unmarried parents.

Determining Paternity

In order to determine custody, you must first establish paternity. In New York, fathers do not have any rights until paternity is established. There are two ways for unmarried parents to establish paternity in New York State:

  1. Signing a voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) form, available from hospitals, local district child support offices, and local birth registrars; or
  2. Filing a court petition to have the court determine paternity.

Upon petition, the court will order genetic testing to definitively establish paternity. If the man is shown to be the biological father, the court will issue an order of filiation, establishing their status as the legal father.

Determining Custody

Once paternity is established, you will have to determine custody. Custody will play a large role when it comes to child support arrangements. When making a decision about child custody, the court will examine some of the following factors:

  • If the parent will act in the child’s best interest
  • If the parent can provide a stable home
  • The relationship between the child and each parent
  • Any history of domestic abuse or substance abuse
  • The mental and physical health of the parent
  • The work schedule and lifestyle of the parent
  • The preference of the child if they are of sufficient age

Determining Child Support

The Child Support Standards Act puts a uniform system in place to mitigate the impact your divorce will have on your child with financial assistance. The formula for calculating child support in New York is based on a percentage of the combined income of each parent and the number of children that require financial support. If the combined parental income exceeds $143,000 the court will apply the following child support percentages:

  • One child- 17%
  • Two children- 25%
  • Three children- 29%
  • Four children- 31%
  • Five or more children- at least 35%

In addition, the court may examine the following factors when making a decision regarding child support:

  • How many children are in your household
  • Whether you or your former spouse have hefty medical bills
  • Your gross yearly income
  • Your child’s age
  • Whether your child has any special needs
  • Whether your child is pursuing a higher education

If you have any questions or concerns regarding child support for unmarried parents, contact our firm today.

Contact our Firm

The Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC understands the harsh implications of relocation can have on a child and his or her parents. When you have a contested relocation matter, it is important to have an experienced attorney to represent you in court. If you are faced with a relocation matter in Rockland County, contact The Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC today to schedule a consultation.