Caring for a child requires a lot of money and even more time. Even the most well-behaved and healthiest child still has needs that the parents will have to meet. Whether you have decided that you want to divorce your spouse or have custody of a child but never married the other parent, you may find yourself wondering if you might eventually qualify to receive child support in New York.

There are a lot of myths floating around about child support that might keep people from applying for it. Some people think that it is only an option for those with very low income or those who don’t work. Other people believe the idea that asking for child support is somehow unfair to the other parent. Can you potentially receive child support for your kid?

Child support has more to do with parental contributions than income

Living with a child is expensive. You can easily make six figures and still struggle to cover all of the costs your kid incurs. Under state law, both biological and adoptive parents have legal and financial obligations to provide for their kids.

Child support is a critical component of a parent fulfilling their obligations to the child that they created. Especially if the other parent doesn’t have parenting time and is not handling parental responsibilities on behalf of your child, like providing them with health insurance or being a part of their life, asking for a financial contribution is the bare minimum to expect from them.

You have to establish paternity if you have not already done so

If you were married at the time that your child was born, your husband is usually the presumptive father, which means they will already have a legal tie to the child. If you were not married, things might be a little more difficult.

The father could deny their role in the life of the child. If you don’t have them on the birth certificate, you may need to take action to add them now. If the other parent does not cooperate, you may need to go to the courts and have them order genetic testing.

Once you have verified paternity, you will then be able to file a request with the courts and ask for child support. The courts will look at your income, the other parent’s income, the child’s needs and the role of the other parent in their life in order to determine a fair and reasonable amount of child support.