NYC Child Support Lawyer

Divorce is almost always a painful process, and your NYC Child Support Lawyer is aware that the process of settling Child Support is often the one issue which grows most divisive for a separating couple in the Matrimonial Part of Supreme Court or NYC Family Court if the parents are not seeking a divorce.

There is, however, a standard starting point that guides the amount of Child Support paid in New York. So in NYC, the Court is going to use a set formula as their tool to reach an amount. This is how it works: The NYC Court combines the parents’ two incomes to get to a total combined income for them, then will multiply this total (to $80,000) by the percentage specified below, which is, as one might expect, based on the number of children involved:

  • For 1 child: 17 percent
  • For 2 children: 25 percent
  • For 3 children: 29 percent
  • For 4 children: 31 percent
  • For 5 children (or more children): 35 percent

Note that this is the basic guideline, or a place for the court to start in working toward a final child support order. In that process, the NYC Family Court has the authority to take under consideration various other aspects of a family’s situation. Moreover, you need to be aware as well that noncustodial parents will share in costs for aspects of childcare like education, or daycare, and the child’s medical bills—all of which is additional to their support amount.

When a combined total of parental income is above the $80,000 point, the NYC Family Court can opt to cap the support at that, or to let it exceed the set $80,000 limit. NYC Family Court scrutinizes your situation as they reach their decision, perhaps looking at—and these are only a few examples—living standards children had before their parents’ separation, any gap in parents’ earning levels, costs experienced for visitation, what the needs are for any non party child (or children).

The NYC court will settle on what income total to use in calculating a support obligation, and this is allocated by percent. Here is a demonstration of how this works:

  • The couple has a single child.
  • That child’s father as well as mother both have a $100K income.
  • Therefore, their combined income equals $200K.
  • Pro rata share that’s assigned each of the parents is 50% of the final assigned amount.
  • NYC Court caps income level at the $150,000 amount.
  • Noncustodial parent therefore is obliged to pay an amount that is 17% of $75,000 (note: less Social Security) in Child Support.
  • That 50 percent rate will also be the rate when dividing other costs of child care (education expenses, medical bills) which will be paid over and above the basic child support.

It is quite common, as you might guess, for a NYC Child Support Lawyer to be asked about how to increase (or get an upward modification) of the Child Support payment amount received. Alternately, we also are asked how one secures a decrease (or downward modification) to the Child Support being paid. Whichever you’re seeking—more of a payment or less—legally an adjustment will be made based only on one factor: has there been a considerable enough change in the circumstances? For the court to grant you an increase, there must be a change such as your child’s needs increasing, a tutor is required, a significant pay raise was given to the noncustodial parent, or the day care situation for the child changed. To get a decrease granted, you must show a change such as loss of employment (when not the parent’s fault), losing pay for working overtime, or facing raised medical/health expenses.

The NYC court considers any changes like those mentioned above. Additionally, they review financial disclosures to be provided to them by both parents, and finally decides if they believe the request for the increase or decrease to be appropriate and warranted.

Another issue that arises around custody payments is the question of arrears. If you are in arrears, the only chance to have the amount reduced is when the other party—the one to whom you are in debt—agrees to reduce the amount you owe. Reductions can’t be given by a NYC court. Clearly this can become a problem particularly in a case where Child Support enforcement has taken measures to suspend your license, or else to suspend your passport. Even if you reasonably can claim a situation of financial hardship, the only chance to get the license or passport reinstated is via payment of arrears.

We encourage you to consult with a NYC Family Lawyer on the staff of Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC. We’ll share our extensive experience in Family Court cases—whether it’s Divorce, or a matter of Child Support, negotiating Child Custody, dealing with your Visitation or Paternity questions, as well as any Orders of Protection or Abuse & Neglect cases. Get advice at no cost and with no obligation. Talk to a NYC Child Support Lawyer on our team—meet in our Manhattan office, in our Brooklyn office, our office on Staten Island or the one in Queens, or in the Bronx. For those living beyond the NYC area, we’re also on Long Island, where you can choose a meeting with us in Nassau County in our offices there or at our office in Suffolk County. Or come to us in our Westchester County office. Call us now: 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529).

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