Child Support: How Much and What If?

Raising children, it is sometimes said, takes an open heart, an open mind and an open wallet. The inevitable financial strains of a Long Island divorce can create some big questions when it comes to sharing the expenses of parenting.

What can I expect for child support?

According to New York Child Support Standards guidelines, the costs of supporting a child are calculated as a percentage of the combined adjusted income of both parents (after taxes, spousal support and other child support), capped at $130,000 and broken down as follows:

  • One child: 17 percent
  • Two children: 25 percent
  • Three children: 29 percent
  • Four children: 31 percent
  • Five or more children: at least 35 percent

This figure is then divided according to each parent’s share of the total income. Non-custodial parents may also be expected to contribute to child care expenses, allowing the custodial parent to go to work or school, as well as the children’s health care and education costs. The percentages are only guidelines. A settlement agreement made between the spouses, as long as it is fair and in keeping with the technical standards of New York’s Child Support Standards Act, is acceptable.

What if child support is not paid?

Failure to pay child support results in enforcement proceedings against the non-custodial parent. Your attorney can help you seek enforcement through New York’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

What if I can no longer afford to pay my court-ordered child support?

Pursuant to the October 14, 2010 update of New York Child Support laws, if your income has dropped at least 15 percent, your attorney can petition the court to have the support order modified.

Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. offers highly trained and experienced guidance on matters of child support in New York.

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