Leading Child and Spousal Support Attorneys on Long Island

Aggressive pursuit of fair financial arrangements

Child and spousal support are perhaps the most critical financial issues in a divorce or separation. Your divorce should not leave you incapable of caring for yourself or your children, nor should divorce require you to pay excessively. Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. finds creative ways to help clients achieve manageable child support and alimony arrangements. For more than 18 years, our firm has built a reputation for aggressive advocacy that yields positive results in support cases. Clients trust Salamone & Associates because:

  • We've handled thousands of maintenance and child support cases.
  • According to the Unified Court System, we handle more support cases than any firm in Nassau or Suffolk County.
  • We have 11 dedicated attorneys practicing only divorce and family law.
  • We have the experience and know-how to work both sides of these issues, advocating for payors and recipients of support.
  • We have won child support reductions and alimony terminations for people who've lost income because of disabilities, layoffs or business downturns.
  • We've won increases in child support and spousal maintenance where a party had falsely reported a low income.
  • We collaborate successfully with financial appraisal companies and actuaries to produce accurate business appraisals to show support for or to rebut valuations of business assets and other complex financial holdings.
  • We use subpoena power to aggressively investigate undisclosed business income for a fair estimate of financial resources. We have won justice in cases where the non-custodial parent was earning seven figures but the custodial parent was living below the poverty line.

Guidelines for child support

In New York, the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) provides guidelines for calculating payments based on percentages of the non-custodial parent's income:

  • Combine the income of the two parents, then subtract FICA and state tax (.0765%) to arrive at the adjusted combined gross income.
  • From that total, take a percentage: 17% for one child, 25% for two children, 29% for three children, etc. to reach the combined annual child support figure.
  • Divide that figure based on the non-custodial parent's pro rata share of the parents' adjusted combined gross income. For example, if the custodial parent makes $40,000 per year and the non-custodial parent makes $60,000, then the non-custodial parent is responsible for 60% of child support.
  • Divide that amount over twelve months to determine the payment schedule.

The CSSA caps the percentage model at a combined parental income of $130,000, and any additional support should be negotiated by the parties. However, it is our experience in Suffolk and Nassau counties that judges do not hesitate to apply the percentages up to $160,000. Child support in New York continues until the child is 21, with some exceptions, such as military service, marriage and death.

Where does child support money go?

The law assumes these payments cover your child's needs, including:

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Shelter
  • Support

However, the non-custodial parent is not entitled to an accounting. Child support does not include daycare expenses, but it's possible for a recipient spouse to use payments to defray daycare costs. Medical coverage and education expenses are additional responsibilities, and those amounts are subject to negotiation and litigation.

Spousal support, maintenance and alimony on Long Island

The Family Court often orders support payments to maintain a spouse at the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage. Maintenance takes many forms:

  • Rehabilitative — Where a spouse must go to school to gain employment skills or refrain from working until the youngest child enters school
  • Permanent — Lifetime support in the case of a lengthy marriage
  • Temporary — In shorter-term marriages, the payment period may be one-third the length of the marriage
  • Reimbursement — Payments to compensate a spouse for past sacrifices

Unlike child support, there is no mathematical formula that dictates maintenance. The court grants or denies it, and sets payments, based on 10 separate factors and attorney arguments. This means you need an experienced attorney to advocate your case and advise you on maintenance issues, such as:

  • Tax consequences
  • Offsets, including pensions and home equity
  • Terminating events
  • Modification of alimony orders
  • Waiving spousal support

Hire aggressive representation for your Long Island child support and alimony claims

Contact Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. online for a free initial consultation with our skilled child/spousal support attorneys. If your case is urgent, call us immediately at 631.424.3597.