When a couple divorces and they have children, the court will decide on family law issues such as child custody and child support. These two elements are related, since one parent typically has custody of the children, while the other pays child support.
If you have been ordered to pay child support, you may have concerns, especially if you are already on a tight budget. How much will you have to pay? What happens if your income changes down the line? Read on to find out how child support is calculated in New York.
Who Pays Child Support?
Child support is paid by the noncustodial parent. It provides financial support to the custodial parent so that he or she can pay for the child’s needs. Child support must be paid until the child is 21 years of age, under New York law.
Child Support Calculation in NY
The goal of child support is to help children of divorce maintain the same standard of living they enjoyed when their parents were married. That is why New York and other states have formulas in place to ensure children are given the financial support they need.
Noncustodial parents are responsible for paying a percentage of both parents’ combined incomes, up to $148,000. This income may include Social Security, unemployment, and pensions. Taxes are deducted from the gross incomes to come up with the final amount. This amount is then multiplied by a percentage based on the number of children. If the income exceeds $148,000, the court does not have to use the guidelines.
For one child, the noncustodial parent must pay 17% of their income for child support. This increases to 25% for two children, 29% for three children and 31% for four children. If a person has five or more children, they can expect to pay at least 35% of their income.
When Child Support Amounts Can Change
While there are formulas involved when it comes to child support payments, these amounts are not set in stone. These amounts can increase or decrease based on one’s circumstances. For example, if the noncustodial parent is laid off from his or her job and can not pay child support, that parent can request a modification. This means that he or she can get the child support payments lowered for a temporary period of time.
On the flip side, if the custodial parent loses a job or finds out that the noncustodial parent is suddenly making much more money, that parent can ask for an increase in payment. These situations require a modification, which must be approved by the court.
Contact a Child Support Lawyer Today
After a divorce, you want to make sure your children are well cared for. Both parents must legally support their children, and the court makes sure this happens through child support payments. This money pays for food, housing, clothing, medical care, and other necessities.
If you are having trouble paying or receiving child support, get help from Brooklyn child support attorney Theodore Alatsas ESQ. He can help you with your family law concerns so you have the resources to care for your child as best as you can. To learn more, contact our office by calling (718) 233-2903.