Long Island Child Support Lawyer
If you speak with a Long Island Child Support Lawyer, he or she will probably acknowledge to you that the question of Child Support will frequently be more contentious than Visitation and Child Custody during a couple’s Divorce case in Supreme Court or a proceeding before the Family Court in non marital situations.
Your Long Island Child Support Lawyer then can tell you, however, about the fact that a standard is going to be followed for setting amounts of Child Support in NY State Courts. That formula first combines the parents’ income, then will apply a set percentage to that combined total income to reach a figure. The percentage by which the parents’ total combined income is multiplied will be:
- 1 child: 17%
- 2 children: 25%
- 3 children: 29%
- 4 children: 31%
- 5 children and more: 35%
You should note that this serves as a guideline, and that while a standard place to start, calculations can also be impacted by additional considerations. Furthermore, if you are the noncustodial parent, you can also fairly be held responsible to pay your fair share of the other child rearing expenses, whether for education, for daycare, or for the child’s medical costs. Such expenses get added onto your total support payment. Please not there are deductions such as Social Security and child support payments through a prior Court order.
The Cap of $80K
Above, you have the standard percentages, and these will apply until you reach a total combined income in the amount of $80,000. If the combined income of the child’s two parents is an amount greater than 80K, the Long Island Family Court can decide whether it’s appropriate to cap the calculation for support at this $80,000 level. They can of course decide to have the calculation exceed the 80K threshold. Assorted factors play a part in this decision and will shape the final determination. The Family Court may weigh, for instance, what the child’s living standard was before his/her parents separated, if there are any non-party children with needs, disparities in the parent’s level of income, what expenses are incurred in visitation, among other factors.
Here’s a sample of this calculation: One child’s father and his mother each have an income that is 100,000. The combined total therefore is $200,000, and the pro rata share 50 percent of any final amount. The Long Island Family Court caps the income for calculating support at $150,000. The noncustodial parent will pay 17% of $75,000 (less Social Security). The 50% share additionally serves as the rate for dividing any other expenses—medical or daycare costs, for example—which come on top of the final Child Support payment amount.
Increases or Decreases in Support Amounts
Every Long Island Child Support Lawyer in our office gets asked the question: “Can you help me increase the amount of child support I get?” Just as frequently, our team is asked: “Can you help get the amount of support I pay decreased or lowered?” In both cases, your Long Island Child Support lawyer will tell you the same thing: Legally, to get an increase or a decrease in the Child Support amount paid, there must have been a significant change in the parties’ circumstances.
Examples of significant changes that may lead to an increase in Child Support payment:
- Large raise in pay for the support paying parent
- Change in daycare arrangement
- Increased needs of the child (e.g. tutoring)
Examples of significant changes that may lead to a decrease in Child Support payment:
- Parent loses job (he/she cannot be at fault)
- Loss of pay for overtime work
- Increases in medical expenses
The Long Island Family Court will examine events such as the above, and also look at each parent’s financial disclosures. At that point, the Court will come to a decision regarding any warranted change in Child Support payment amounts.
How Arrears May Be Reduced
Another common question heard by a Long Island Child Support Lawyer is how to reduce arrears. It is important to understand that this cannot happen via a decision of the Long Island Family court. A reduction you receive can only be given to you by the party whom you owe the money. Also, if Child Support Enforcement ends up suspending your license/passport, reinstatement of them only happens through paying arrears. This will be the case if in legitimate cases of financial hardship.
In the offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC, every Long Island Child Support Lawyer brings knowledge and experience with Family Court. We handle Divorce and other cases—Child Support, Child Custody and Child Visitation, a Paternity case, Orders of Protection, as well as any Abuse and Neglect matter. We’re here to assist you—call us now at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529). Our no-cost initial consultation gives you the chance to share details in your case and get advice about your legal rights from a Long Island Family Lawyer. Visit us in our Long Island offices—meet in our Suffolk County office or, alternatively, in Nassau County. Come to us in New York City—in our Brooklyn office or our Manhattan one, in the borough of Staten Island or in Queens or farther north in the Bronx. Finally, if you prefer, we also have a Westchester County office for you to visit.