NY Child Support Lawyer

In a Divorce proceeding in Supreme Court or a hotly contested Family Court between no married parents, a NY Child Support Lawyer will acknowledge that reaching resolution about a Child Support amount frequently becomes the issue that is more divisive than other battles the couple goes through. In fact, New York Family Lawyers often discuss that child support matters are fought more vigorously than child custody or visitation matters

One thing to know, however, is that a basic standard exists as a guideline to set Child Support amounts in New York. In NY, the Family Court will use a basic formula to reach a support amount. The Court starts by combining the incomes of the 2 parents, then multiplies that combined total (at least up to the $80,000 limit) by a specified percentage based on how many children the parents have. The percentages are below:

  • 1 child: 17%
  • 2 children: 25%
  • 3 children: 29%
  • 4 children: 31%
  • 5+ children: 35%

These percentages serve as a basic guideline. Additionally, the NY Family Court may consider other elements of the situation as they work to reach their final order for child support. You should also be aware that a non custodial parent shares responsibility for expenses on top of their support amount—for a share of costs for daycare, school/education, and any medical needs.

If the combined income total reaches or is over $80,000, NY Family Court can elect to cap support there, or allow it to exceed that $80,000 threshold and then hold a Casano Hearing. NY Family Court will study aspects of the situation in reaching a decision, looking at—among other things—living standards for your child before your separation, the gap in income between parents, expenses experienced as part of visitation, needs of a non party child (or children).

The NY court settles on the income total for use in the support obligation. This gets allocated on a percentage basis. As an illustration:

  • A couple has only 1 child.
  • Both the child’s mother and father earn $100K
  • The combined total income is $200K.
  • The pro rata share assigned to each parent is 50 percent of the final amount.
  • The NY Court caps the income at $150,000.
  • The noncustodial parent is therefore obliged to pay 17 percent of $75,000 (less Social Security) as child support.
  • 50 percent is also the rate for dividing up additional childcare costs (e.g. education, medical) which are paid in addition to a basic child support payment.

Often a NY Child Support Lawyer in our office will be asked how a Child Support amount can be increased (in an upward modification) or decreased (in a downward modification). Whether you seek an increased or decreased payment, legally it can only follow from a substantial change in the family circumstances. For example, for an increase in Child support to be granted, your child must have an increase in their needs, perhaps they require a tutor, or there’s been a substantial pay raise, or day care accommodations have changed. To be granted a decrease in the amount, there must have been a job loss that isn’t due to the parent’s fault, or a loss in pay for overtime work, or a rise in medical/health costs.

A NY court examines such factors as the above as they examine as well the financial disclosures they are provided by the 2 parents. The NY Court then decides if your request to increase or to decrease support is appropriate.

With respect to payments, another issue is that of arrears. When you’re in arrears, the only way you can get the arrears reduced is if the party or parent to whom you owe that money agrees to it. A reduction cannot be awarded by the NY court. This, we realize, may be a problem when Child Support enforcement moves to suspend a license, or perhaps to suspend a passport. While you maybe can reasonably claim financial hardship, you license and/or your passport can only get reinstated if and when your arrears are actually paid.

We urge you to speak with a NY Family Lawyer on our staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC. We can provide help and knowledge when it comes to all manners of Family Court cases—Divorce, a case to settle Child Support, negotiation of Child Custody, handling a Visitation matter or a Paternity question, along with your Order of Protection or Abuse & Neglect case. For a no-cost first consultation with a NY Child Support Lawyer from our office, come meet in us in Manhattan, in our Brooklyn office, our office on Staten Island or the one in Queens, or in the Bronx. For residents outside of NYC, we are on Long Island—meet either in Nassau County at our office or in Suffolk County at our office there. Plus we’re in Westchester County, too. Dial 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529) today.

1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529)