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Westchester County Child Support Attorney serving White Plains, and Mount Kisco, NY
What You Need to Know About New York Child Support
When filing for or defending against a claim for child support there are several important things that you should know:
- What Are the Guidelines for Child Support?
- How Long Does One Pay Child Support?
- How Is Child Support Calculated in New York?
- Child Support Calculation for Low Income Parents
- Add-Ons for New York Child Support
- Deviating from Child Support Guidelines
- Modifying Orders of Child Support
- Issues Affecting New York Child Support Cases
What Are the Guidelines for Child Support in New York?
Child support guidelines are designed to ensure that parents have the resources needed to provide for the health and happiness of their children. In New York State, the Division of Child Support Enforcement oversees child support court orders in accordance with the Child Support Standards Act. The process of collecting child support begins with the Custodial parent filing a petition in family court seeking an Order of Child Support.
How Long Is Child Support Paid?
Generally, child support orders are to be paid until the child turns 21. However, there are exceptions in certain circumstances. In limited circumstances, if the child has special needs, the court may order the continuation of child support beyond 21. Child support may be terminated if a child is emancipated, joins the military or gets married.
How Is Child Support Calculated in New York?
A standard formula is used to calculate Child support in New York. Normally, the income of the parents usually determines the amount of child support. Income may include pensions, fellowships, annuity payments, workers' compensation benefits, unemployment, Social Security and retirement benefits, and income from other sources.
Items typically deducted in calculating the income include taxes, other child support obligations, expenses related to running a business, alimony obligations or public assistance. Depending on specific factors and circumstances, other items may be considered as deductions from income.
Once the amount income is determined, the amount is multiplied by a percentage. The percentage to be used depends on how many children are considered in the support order. It is important to note that support may be ordered in an amount that is greater or less than the guideline amount.
The percentages for child support calculations are as follows:
- 17% for one child
- 25% for two children
- 29% for three children
- 31% for four children
- 35% for five or more children
Child Support Calculation for Low Income Parents
If a basic child support obligation would bring a noncustodial parent's income to below the federal poverty guideline, then the noncustodial parent is generally ordered to pay $25 a month in child support.
If a basic child support obligation would bring a noncustodial parent's income to below the New York State Self-Support Reserve ($16,862 annual income) then the noncustodial parent is generally ordered to pay $50 per month in child support or the difference between their income and the self-support reserve, if that difference is greater than $50.
New York Child Support Add-Ons
In addition to ordering the payment of basic child support, a Family Court can also require either parent to provide medical insurance for the child. Additionally, a child support order can require parents to cover other expenses related to their children. Typical expenses included in a child support order:
- Child care expenses incurred to allow a parent to go to work or school.
- Uncovered health insurance and medical expenses for the child.
- A portion of the child's educational expenses
The amounts for these expenses are in addition to the basic child support amount but are still considered part of the child support obligation. While basic support is intended to cover expenses such as shelter, food, clothing and other basic living expenses, the add-ons cover other costs often associated with raising a child.
Deviating from Child Support Guidelines
The child support amount ordered may be different from the guideline amount. Parents may agree or the court may order a different child support based on several factors including:
- Financial resources
- Health and well-being
- Standard of living
- Tax considerations
- Visitation expenses
- Extraordinary needs of the child
- Other children
Modification of Child Support Orders
Child support orders will often need to be updated and modified. A significant change in one parent's income allows a parent to petition the court to adjust the child support amount. This often happens when there is a change in employment, but it can be affected by other financial changes as well.
Complex Issues In New York Child Support Cases
Child support is not easily calculated in many cases and can be complicated by many different factors, which may include:
- Determination of income
- Unemployment or underemployment
- Calculation of visitation time
- Extraordinary needs of the child
- Joint custody
- Split custody
- Add-on expenses
Speak to an Experienced Westchester Child Support Attorney Today
If you are involved in a child support matter in the Westchester Family Courts located in White Plains, NY, New Rochelle, NY or Yonkers, NY, you should have an experienced and proven Family Law Attorney on your side.