Child Support

After there has been a determination by a court or by agreement which parent will have residential custody (i.e. with whom do the kids live with), the custodial parent may then petition the Family Court and request that child support be ordered through the court.  

Child support is a responsibility shared by the biological or adoptive parents and starts with basic support of 17% for one child, 25% for two kids, 29% for three children, 31% for four children, and no less than 35% of the combined parental income.  The combined adjusted gross income is calculated up to the court-imposed cap of $154,000 and then an additional amount based upon the court’s deviated imputed income.  See Find Out Your Child Support Calculation.

Typically, the non-custodial parent is the one obligated to pay child support directly to the custodial parent.  The non-custodial parent will also be responsible to pay “statutory expenses,” including health-related costs and co-pays, daycare and school expenses (if any) on top of the “basic child support.”  Under New York law, once a support order is granted, the petitioner may seek to have the court enforce the child support obligations by deducting payments from the respondent’s paycheck, suspending the non-payee’s driver license, revoking his/her passport, property seizure, and even incarceration.

In Family Court, a Support Magistrate is tasked with determining child support.  Much like custody and visitation cases, a parent in the midst of a divorce proceeding in the Supreme Court of the State of New York may make a motion to the trial judge seeking pendente lite relief, including child support.  The parties may also agree on an amount as a part of their uncontested divorce.  This option reduces legal fees for both parties.

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