New York Divorce Attorney Fights for Child Support for Joint Custody

Correcting a severe oversight in New York Family Law

New York has child support guidelines that provide a mathematical formula for calculating what a noncustodial parent should pay to the custodial parent. The guidelines are meant to standardize awards throughout the court system, so amounts don’t vary widely from county to county or from judge to judge. That’s all very good, except for a slight problem: the statute was written for sole custody situations. It is completely silent on joint custody! At Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C., we’ve been active in supporting fathers who desire joint custody. Though New York courts have made progress in that direction, the flaw in the child support statute means that courts must deviate from the guidelines, giving judges too much discretion, so that fathers wind up paying way too much. That’s why we’re determined to fight on your side, to ensure a fair award that weighs the amount spent in the home directly on the children.

In a joint custody arrangement, who is the custodial parent?

New York’s child support statute provides that the noncustodial parent pay child support to the custodial parent. But in a joint custody situation, which is which? The courts have decided that in calculating child support when parents have the children equally, the parent with the greater income shall be deemed the noncustodial parent. From that point, the court applies the child support guidelines, guidelines that assume the noncustodial parent is paying nothing. Of course, imposing the numbers from the guidelines would be grossly unfair, but the court is still required to do that calculation.

The law permits the judge to deviate from the guidelines at this point, but that judge already has been presented with a hyper-inflated number. Will that number prejudice the judge?

So here’s the worst case scenario a parent faces:

  • In the joint custody situation, the children actually spend more time with Parent A. Parent A is also paying for the home enjoyed by Parent B, through alimony.
  • Parent A makes slightly more money than Parent B, so Parent A is designated the noncustodial parent.
  • The court calculates child support as though Parent A had no expenses in raising the children and gets a number the judge must include in the order, and explain why that number wasn’t followed.

Everything is stacked against Parent A, so without aggressive representation, such as we provide at Salamone & Associates, Parent A is going to wind up paying way too much in child support.

Get aggressive representation for joint custody and child support. Don’t delay. Act now!

Winning joint custody can be disastrous in terms of child support. Let Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. fight aggressively for your right to a fair child support award that takes into consideration the money you spend providing a home. Contact us for a free initial consultation at 1.631.479.3839 or contact our office online.