Manhattan Child Support Lawyer
As any Manhattan Child Support Lawyer realizes, settling the issue of Child Support is frequently more contentious than settling any other issues when a couple’s Divorce proceeding is underway in Supreme Court or battling before the Family Court. In many instances the Child Support matter can last longer than the Child Custody or Visitation issue
The Standard Formula
Your Manhattan Child Support Lawyer should let you know that a set standard is going to be followed in setting the amount of Child Support in the New York Courts. This standard specifies a formula that first will combine the two parents’ income (to reach the total combine income), then multiplies this amount by a pre-set percentage. The percent by which parents’ combined income will be multiplied is listed below:
- One child: 17%
- Two children: 25%
- Three children: 29%
- Four children: 31%
- Five children or more: 35%
This is the basic guideline, or standard starting point. Please note, though, that a payment calculation might also be affected by various additional considerations. And a noncustodial parent can also be responsible for their fair share of other child-rearing costs, from education to daycare and medical bills. These expenses will be added to a noncustodial parent’s total Child Support payment.
The above percentages, you should know, apply until reaching a total combined income of $80K. When two parents’ combined income exceeds 80,000, the Manhattan Family Court has the option to decide if capping at this 80K level is appropriate or if the calculation should be based on the amount that is over the 80,000 threshold. A range of factors will come into play to shape the final decision. The Manhattan Family Court can take into account a child’s standard of living before the parents were separated, for example, as well as any needs of any non-party children and possible disparities in earning levels of the two parents or visitation expenses, as a few examples.
- A father and a mother have one child
- Each parent earns $100,000; their combined total = $200,000
- The pro rata share = 50 percent of the final amount
- Manhattan Family Court caps income for the support calculation at $150K
- The non-custodial parent pays 17 percent of $75K (less Social Security)
- 50% also serves as the rate in dividing other expenses—whether this is medical costs or daycare costs (costs which are additional to the Child Support amount)
Requests for an Increase / Decrease in the Support Amount
Every Manhattan Child Support Lawyer at our offices frequently is asked: “How can I get the amount of child support paid to me increased?” And of course we’re also often asked: “How can I get the support amount I pay lowered / decreased?” Either way, your Manhattan Child Support lawyer will explain that the answer rests on one thing: Legally, for an increase or decrease to legally be given, a significant change must have occurred in the circumstances of parties involved.
Below are samples of the significant changes which can lead to increased Child Support:
- A large pay raise for the parent who pays Child Support
- A change in the child’s daycare arrangement
- An increase in your child’s needs (a need for tutoring, etc.)
And here are samples of significant changes possibly leading to decreased Child Support payments:
- The parent loses his or her job (and it is not his or her fault)
- The parent loses pay for their overtime work
- The parent has increased medical expenses
The Manhattan Family Court analyzes events like those listed above while also taking a look at financial disclosures from the parents, then will reach a decision about any change that is warranted in the Child Support amount.
Reductions in Arrears
There’s one other common question a Manhattan Child Support Lawyer will hear, and that is about how a parent paying support can reduce arrears. You should understand the Manhattan Family Court cannot decide or enforce this; it is not their decision. Any reduction is only possible when the party to whom the arrears are owed grants it. Sometimes Child Support Enforcement will suspend a license/passport. If so, reinstatement takes place only when the arrears are paid—even in a legitimate case of financial hardship.
Contact Us Today
In our offices at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC, each Manhattan Child Support Lawyer will bring to your case their extensive experience with the Family Courts. We handle Family Law cases from Child Support to Divorce and Child Custody, from Visitation to Paternity cases, from Orders of Protection to Abuse and Neglect. We stand ready to help—contact us now by calling 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529). With the no-cost consultation we provide, you get the chance to talk over the details of your case, plus hear advice from a Manhattan Family Lawyer. Come to our Manhattan offices, or meet at our Long Island locations (Suffolk County office or Nassau County office). We’re also throughout the rest of New York City, in Brooklyn, also in Queens, in Richmond County (which is Staten Island), as well as in the Bronx. Also, we have a Westchester County office you may visit.