Recently our office has received some questions regarding negotiations for either settlement agreements or matrimonial distributions. There seems to be some misconception regarding the rights of custodial parents to receive child support. Child support in New York is governed by the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA). This act sets the amount of child support to be paid based upon the income of both parents and the number of children involved. The custodial parent is entitled to receive the amount determined by the CSSA. There are very few instances when the child support number should be lowered as a negotiating tactic for property distribution. There are several factors to be considered when dividing marital property. Maintenance on the other hand is a much better tool to negotiate with. There is no absolute obligation of maintenance, therefore the risk is less. Coming to an agreement for a number that is less than what both parties expected will yield better results in negotiations. Don’t allow the non-custodial parent to “bully” you into taking less for child support when the number is set by statute. Instead, negotiate maintenance amounts, marital property, separate property or other variables. Keep the child support that you are entitled to because it is surely in the best interest of your children to do so. And realistically speaking, you never know what tomorrow will bring. You may need that money sometime in the future to care for your children. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office at (516) 858-2620!