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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12237
Experience:  Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
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My divorce was finalized in Maryland. I currently live in

Resolved Question:

My divorce was finalized in Maryland. I currently live in NY state with our two children. Our oldest daughter is 16 and severely handicapped. Our son is 11. My ex wife and her husband live in Tennessee. They are both in the medical profession and earn in the neighborhood of 6 figure incomes. I am only able to hold a job sporadically because of the medical challenges concerning our daughter.

My ex wife voluntarily gave me custody and we had a good faith agreement that we would work out the child support after the divorce, so there is nothing in our divorce addressing any figures. She currently pays me $400 a month for our daughter's support. She claims she is putting money in an account for our son's college education in lieu of child support payment for him.

I would like to formalize the child support to be the "going rate." Do I need to go to Maryland to do this? Also, what is the percentage that is the standard for that state?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 1 year ago.

Brandon M. :

Hello there.

Customer:

Hello.


 

Customer:

Hello?

Brandon M. :

Hello. Thank you for your question.

Brandon M. :

How long have you been in NY with your children?

Customer:

I have been in NY with both children since September 2011. I have been in NY with my daughter since August 2008.

Brandon M. :

A new spouse's income is usually irrelevant for purposes of calculating child support, but that doesn't mean you are due significant support for your children. Do you have an estimate of your wife's earnings?

Customer:

Noth

Customer:

Nothing concrete, but I'm willing to bet it is above 80,000.

Brandon M. :

I'm assuming that the kids are out of their mother's care close to 100% of the time. Is that accurate?

Customer:

My son is wit

Customer:

Sorry. My son is with her for 2 months in the summer and during holidays. But, otherwise, both kids are in my care the rest of the time.

Brandon M. :

Here's how it works: when child support or custody jurisdiction is originally established, the courts of of that state retain jurisdiction as long as the children reside in that state. Even if the kids move out of state and one parent remains in the state, it is possible for that state to retain jurisdiction. But if the children and the parents all relocate out of the state, the original state no longer has jurisdiction over child support or custody. This means that if child support or custody was established in the state or Maryland and neither the parents nor the children continue to reside in Maryland, Maryland will not have jurisdiction over child custody or support.

Brandon M. :

What happens in that case is jurisdiction follows the kids. If the children relocate to NY, the NY courts would have jurisdiction.

Brandon M. :

However, the case must be transferred to NY for that to happen. This generally requires getting an order from the original court transferring jurisdiction to wherever the kids relocated.

Brandon M. :

I'm going to talk about that just a bit more, but let's first discuss what can be expected for support.


 

Customer:

OK.


 

Brandon M. :

New York, like every other state, has a child support guideline formula. Under NY's formula, a non-custodial parent grossing $80,000 per year would expect to pay approximately $1,500 per month in child support to the custodial parent.

Customer:

Is this per child?

Brandon M. :

You can find a calculator for the formula here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/hra/html/directory/child_support_calculator.shtml The link is for New York City, but the guideline formula is the same throughout the state.

Brandon M. :

So clearly, that is a very significant deviation from $400 per month. All of it is tax free to the recipient parent, by the way.

Customer:

This I already knew, but I need to get an idea of the amount as it relates to my daughter's SSI and Medicaid benefits.


 

Brandon M. :

Once jurisdiction is ordered changed, it then has to be domesticated in the new state of residence. From there, the case will proceed in the new state's courts. The good news is that it is fairly straightforward, but the bad news is that it has a lot of moving parts.


 


I'm not sure that I understand your last comment. You said "I need to get an idea of the amount as it relates to my daughter's SSI and Medicaid benefits." What is your concern?

Customer:

T

Customer:

That the benefits she currently gets would be affected by the new amount of income through child support. She has adaptive devices that we can currently afford, but may be challenging to meet if these benefits are limited.


 


What do I need to do to get the order from Maryland? Will I need an attorney in MD to do this?

Brandon M. :

They likely would be affected, although child support income is treated differently from other forms of income. For example, 1/3 of child support income is excluded from the SSI calculation. So you would typically expect a reduction, but not as much as other forms of income.


 


Personally, I would start with a NY attorney and let that person contract the MD work out on your behalf. They can probably get a better rate for you, and they can handle things on the NY end simultaneously. Naturally, the choice is yoursn.

Customer:

How long will it take a NY attorney to get th

Customer:

this rolling?


 

Brandon M. :

As long as it takes to type up the motion. If no one resides in the original state, it's usually a swift process because there is no basis for objection.

Brandon M. :

Realistically, you could probably have your motion to initiate support in NY in approximately 6 weeks, and have the order in your hands approximately 6 weeks after that (depending on your local court's caseload).

Customer:

OK. As I am on a small income what services/attorneys are available to me or is there a website that I can find someone locally to represent me?

Brandon M. :

In which county do you reside?

Customer:

Madison

Brandon M. :

One moment, please.

Customer:

Thank you

Brandon M. :

Because Madison County has such a small population, I'm going to give you two references. First is to the Madison County Bar Association. I would call them and ask if they have any members or referrals who can help on either a pro bono or reduced-cost basis. This is their link: http://madisoncountybarassoc.org/contact.html


 


I'm also going to refer you to Onondaga County's Bar Association for the same. They have some free and low-cost services on their website as well: http://www.onbar.org/public-commprog.htm As you can imagine, finding a free or low cost attorney is like finding a free or low cost auto mechanic, so you may need to move to a larger population center to get the help that you need.

Customer:

OK. Thank you for your time on this!

Brandon M. :

As an aside, I have a disabled child as well so I understand the costs that can accompany those special needs. You didn't mention your child's specific situation, but I would also alert you to the fact that you should have her case examined to see if you might be a good candidate for support beyond the guideline levels.

Brandon M. :

Every case is different, but if you have a lot of special extra costs because of her condition, a court would typically be inclined to make the parents share that cost on top of child support. Just keep it in mind.

Customer:

I will. She has a unique syndrome, so it is difficult to narrow down all the disabilities (she just developed seizure activity), but I will find out what I can about this as well.

Brandon M. :

Hopefully I was able to answer all of your questions and you are satisfied with my help this evening. Did you have any other question?

Customer:

No, I think you've answered everything I had in mind. Thank you.

Brandon M. :

My pleasure, and if you are so inclined, please feel free to leave a positive rating for me once you are finished; it does not cost anything extra to do so, and it is the only way I may be compensated for my time. Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX a good evening.

Customer:

Will do. Have a great evening.

Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12237
Experience: Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
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