New York City Child Support Lawyer

When you’re in the midst of Divorce proceedings in one of the New York City Supreme Courts or in a Family Court child support battle you’ll discover that your New York City Child Support Lawyer recognizes that coming to a resolution about Child Support often will become the most divisive of the battles to go through in New York City Family Court even more so, than Child Custody or Visitation.

There is, however, a basic standard you should be aware of—a guideline to be followed in determining in the Child Support amount in New York. The court follows a basic formula: The incomes of the two parents will be combined. That combined total (up to $80,000) then gets multiplied by a percentage depending on the number of children you have. Then the number is divided by the non custodial parent prorate share of the 80k giving him/her their child support obligation. Those set percentages are listed here:

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

These guidelines act as the basis or starting point. The New York City Family Court can also look at other considerations and factor them into its final order of child support. Please note that the non custodial parent also is going to be responsible for other expenses in addition to the support amount—for instance, for their share of daycare costs, educational expenses, and medical bills.

When the combined parents’ income is at or over $80,000, at that point the New York City Family Court has the option to choose capping support at that level, or deciding that it should exceed the $80K threshold, holding a Casano Hearing. The Court studies an array of factors as they work through this: they will look at, for example, the living standards for the child before its parents separated, any earnings disparity for the parents, expenses that may be connected with the parent’s visitation, non party children’s needs. There are deductions as well, such as a Child support order for another child/children that pre dates this filing and Social security. These are just some of the factors the New York City court might choose to take into account.

The New York City court decides upon a gross income total to use in the child support obligation, then will allocate this obligation via a percentage basis. Here’s an illustration of this: The couple has 1 child, and both the mother and the father earn $100,000 for a combined total of $200,000 in income. Pro rata share for each is 50% of the final amount. The New York City Court decides to cap income at $150,000. Consequently, the noncustodial parent therefore is obligated to pay child support of 17 percent of $75,000 (less Social Security). Then this 50% rate also is the basis by which other childcare costs get divided (e.g. education, healthcare). Those added expenses are in addition to the basic support payment.

The most common questions each New York City Child Support Lawyer in our offices gets are about increasing (getting an upward modification) the support amount received, or decreasing (getting a downward modification) the support amount received. In either instance, your Child Support lawyer will tell you the same answer: Legally, there must have been a significant enough change in circumstances to warrant either any increase in Child Support or any decrease in Child Support.

Changes in circumstance that may justify increased Child Support:

  • Your child’s needs have increased (for instance, maybe they need a tutor).
  • The noncustodial parent got a significant raise in pay.
  • There has been a change in your day care arrangement.

Changes in circumstance that may justify increased Child Support:

  • Job loss (as long as it is not fault of the parent).
  • Overtime pay is lost.
  • Parent’s medical costs have risen.

The New York City court will examine factors like the above, and also look at financial disclosures provided by both parents. Then the Court will decide whether any requested decrease or requested increase in the support amount may be called for.

Finally, there is the issue of arrears. Our New York City Child Support Lawyers will tell you if your Child Support payments are in arrears, the only path to getting the arrears possibly reduced is by agreement of the party/parent to whom money is owed. Reduction isn’t going to be granted by the New York City court. We realize that this may present problems if Child Support enforcement possibly has acted to suspend a license, or to suspend your passport. Although you may reasonably be claiming financial hardship, reinstatement of licenses or passports only will result when arrears are finally paid.

Don’t hesitate to talk to a New York City Family Lawyer on staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC. We will provide the advantage of experience with all manner of Family Court matters—Divorce, settling Child Support, negotiating Child Custody cases, handling your Visitation case or your Paternity case, Relocation petitions as well as any Order of Protection or cases of Abuse & Neglect. We want to help defend your rights, whether its mothers rights, fathers rights or grandparents rights, starting off with a no-cost consultation with any New York City Family Lawyer in our offices. Come meet us in the New York City office—we are in Manhattan and all other NYC boroughs—Brooklyn and on Staten Island (Richmond County), Queens, and in the Bronx. For suburb residents, we have Long Island locations—both in Nassau County and in Suffolk County and are also located in a Westchester County office. Don’t wait—call 1.800.NY.NY.LAW today (1.800.696.9529).

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