Child Support in New York
Child Support Attorneys serving Long Island, Nassau County & Suffolk County
In the State of New York, child support is paid until the child reaches the age of 21. Child support payments can be eliminated after the child is 18 years of age if the child should become emancipated, able to support himself or herself, married, enter the military, or live outside of the marital residence and be self supporting. Child support payments are paid by the non-residential custodial parent to the residential custodial parent. In simpler terms, the party who the child or children don’t live with, pays child support to the parent who the child or children reside with.
The non-custodial parent will pay child support based upon his or her gross income less FICA which is 7.65%, which amounts to 92.35% of this person’s gross income. For one child, the non-custodial parent will pay 17% of his gross income less FICA, 25% for two children, 29% for three children, 31% for four children, and 35% for five children or more. In addition, there are add-ons to the child support. Parents must contribute to medical expenses for the children, and if the residential custodial parent works, the non-residential custodial parent (parent without custody) must contribute to child care expenses while the other parent works.
There is currently an income cap of $141,000 with regard to child support payments. Courts however have discretion to make awards beyond this $141,000 cap and the usual standards in the Metropolitan New York area as to how much income will be impacted on for child support range from approximately $200,000 to $350,000 depending on which county the case is in.
Modifying Child Support
Life is not static. Circumstances change. Parents lose their jobs, get downsized, get promoted, retire, become ill and unable to work, among other issues impacting on income from employment. In cases where there has been a substantial change in circumstances, the parent paying child support can bring an application to either the Family Court or the Supreme Court requesting a downward modification of the child support. Parents can also agree among themselves to change the amount of the child support, either upward or downward. This can be accomplished by a written agreement So Ordered by a judge. Even if a parent’s earning ability is reduced, there is no guarantee the court will reduce that parent’s child support financial obligations. Courts take other issues into consideration regarding reducing child support which may involve the financial circumstances of the parties, the best interests of the children and other factors. Individuals who are downsized or who lose their jobs are expected to use due diligence to find new employment.
Failure to Pay Child Support
If one parent fails to pay child support, the other parent can take them to court to enforce the child support obligations. This can result in the loss of a driver’s license, professional licenses, such as licenses to be a doctor, lawyer, dentist, and architect. It can also result in the seizure of bank accounts and tax refunds from the federal and state government. In addition, a contempt application can be brought against the parent who fails to pay child support. In contempt situations, the non-paying parent can be subject to incarceration for up to six months.
Handling Child Support Proceedings
The best way to handle a child support proceeding is to obtain an experienced, competent family law attorney to represent you in these proceedings. Many individuals go into court trying to represent themselves and find that the system is not user friendly.
Bringing or fighting a child support proceeding involves complying with statutes, case law and court procedures. If you do not understand these procedures or do not know them, you may be acting in a manner which is to your own detriment. Should you have questions regarding child support issues, feel free to call us. Our phones are monitored 7 days a week. We can be reached at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802 or 1-800-344-6431.