Child Support

Although most non-custodial parents are responsible for the support of their children, the amount of that support can vary dramatically, as it depends on a number of factors. A well-prepared child support hearing attended by a competent attorney can make a difference in the amount of child support ordered by the court.



Calculating the Amount of Child Support

Two factors go into calculating New York Child Support. They are:

1. a percentage of the non-custodial parent's income and

2. add-ons (school or childcare expenses, uncovered medical, etc.).

The Child Support percentage amount is

 

1 Child - 17%
2 Children - 25%
3 Children - 29%

In many instances, the percentage is not applied to the entire income (there is a cap on the income), and it is up to the respective parties' attorneys to argue the income amount to which the child support percentage should be applied.

The add-ons depend on the child's particular situation. Typically, this firm demands that a non-custodial parent contributes to a portion of the child's educational or childcare expenses and medical costs. Because of the many factors that the court considers, and the variety of ways to argue for the most beneficial child support amount, it important to have an attorney who will insist on the factors and calculations which to you are are the most beneficial.

The courts allow parents to reach an independent agreement on the amount of child support. Nevertheless, understanding the statutory factors increases your chance of getting a good child support deal. This is why it is important to involve a qualified attorney in the child support negotiations, who will interpret the law to your advantage and will emphasize the statutory factors that are most beneficial to you.

Joint Custody

In New York, joint custody is almost never awarded by the court on its own, only with the agreement of both parties. Accordintly, child support arrangements in joint custody range from no child support at all, to partial child support, to full child support, as agreed by the parties.

Overtime Wages

Most types of overtime wages are considered income for child support purposes.

Child Reaching 21

In most states, child support terminates when the child reaches the age of 18. Not so in New York, where child support usually continues until the child reaches the age of 21. There are, however, exceptions to this rule - there are ways to stop child support before the child reaches majority, or the opposite, to continue child support after the child reaches majority.

Non-Payment of Child Support

A Court that finds non-payment of child support will in all likelyhood direct the Child Support Unit or the Sheriff to collect the owed child support. Such enforcement includes garnishing of paychecks and levying bank accounts and tangible property. The Court can also impose sanctions such as suspending professional and drivers licenses and passports, and even go as far as imposing a jail sentence.

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Keep records of child support payments, the judge will not take your word for it.

Albert Gurevich, Esq.