Long Island Child Support Lawyers Serving Nassau and Suffolk Counties

Aggressive pursuit of fair child support financial arrangements

Child support is perhaps the most critical financial issue in a divorce or separation. Your divorce should not leave you incapable of caring for 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 arrangements. For more than 20 years, our firm has built a reputation for aggressive advocacy that yields positive results in support cases. Clients trust our firm because:

  • We've handled thousands of child support cases.
  • According to the Unified Court System, we handle more support cases than any other firm in Nassau or Suffolk County.
  • We have nine dedicated attorneys practicing only divorce and family law.
  • We have the experience and know-how to work both sides of this issue, advocating for payors and recipients of support.
  • We have won child support reductions for people who've lost income because of disabilities, layoffs or business downturns.
  • We've won increases in child support 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.

We are ready to put our determined advocacy in your corner, sparing no effort to make sure your child support obligation or payment is fair and appropriate.

Guidelines for calculating child support

In New York, the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) provides guidelines for determining the non-custodial parent's support obligation. Our website’s Maintenance and Child Support Calculator lets parties and their attorneys obtain detailed estimates of those payments simply by entering some financial and family information. The calculator will:

  • Combine the income of the two parents, then subtract FICA and state tax to arrive at the adjusted combined gross income.
  • Take a percentage of that total — 17 percent for one child, 25 percent for two children, 29 percent 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 percent of child support.
  • Divide that amount over 12 months to determine the payment schedule.

The CSSA caps the percentage model at a combined parental income of $148,000, 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.

Note that in determining child support when parents have joint custody, the court will deem the parent with the greater income to be the non-custodial parent.

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.

Can child support be changed?

New York recognizes that child support orders can become unfair and obsolete over time. The child support recipient is entitled to request a cost-of-living adjustment after two years. In addition, a support order may be modified at any time if a court decides there has been a substantial change in circumstances. If a support order was issued on or after October 13, 2010, the court may modify the order after three years or if either parent’s gross income has changed by at least 15 percent since the order was entered. If you qualify for a child support modification in your favor or want to challenge a modification you consider unfair, we are ready to fight for you in court.

Hire aggressive Long Island child support lawyers

Contact Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. online for a free initial consultation with our skilled child support attorneys in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, Long Island. If your case is urgent, call us immediately at 1.631.479.3839.