In New York, the law requires each parent to care for their child financially, even when the parents no longer live together. In a typical legal separation or divorce, the non-primary custodial parent will typically pay child support to the parent with physical custody of the child. One parent pays the other parent monthly child support to help financially care for their minor child or children. Child support is intended to cover housing, groceries, clothing, vacations, and more.
New York courts make child support determinations based on the child’s best interest. When parents spend precisely equal amounts of physical time with a child, the spouse who earns more will typically pay child support to the spouse who earns less. Courts determine child support based on each parent’s income. If you and your co-parent can agree on your child support obligations, you can draft a divorce agreement with the help of a family law attorney.
The Benefits of Working with a Child Support Attorney in the Bronx
If you cannot agree, the court will decide based on New York’s child support law. Navigating the court process can be challenging. Whatever your situation, a Bronx-based family law attorney can offer valuable legal representation and guidance. He has years of experience providing the insight and legal strategy you need to reach a positive result in your family law case.
Could My Child Benefit From Child Support Payments?
Thousands of New York parents pay or receive child support. If you are the parent with legal custody, you have a right to file for child support payments. If you are not sure whether you are entitled to child support payments for your child or children, we recommend reaching out to an attorney. You could be entitled to cash payments based on your child’s needs and your income, medical support and health insurance coverage, payments for child care, and payments for health care costs that your health insurance may not cover.
A parent is legally required to provide financial support for their children until they reach the age of 21, are in the military, are married, are self-supporting, or until they are legally emancipated. Courts can order either parent to pay child support, even if they have little or no contact with the child. Failure to pay court-ordered child support can result in serious legal repercussions.
Calculating Child Support Payments in New York
When calculating child support, New York courts have to determine the amount of child support payments that the noncustodial parent must pay. Family court judges use standard guidelines called Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) Guidelines to determine payments. These guidelines are based on each parent’s adjusted gross income and the number of children involved. The current child support percentages are as follows:
- One child – 15%
- Two children – 25%
- Three children – 29%
- Four children – 31%
- Five + children – no less than 35%
For example, if a parent’s income is between $100,000 to $100,099, the parent must pay $17,000 in child support for one child, $25,000 for two children, and $29,000 for three children.
Factors Courts Consider in Child Support Cases
When parents have a combined parental income over $163,000, the court can decide whether or not to use the guidelines. They may consider additional factors when calculating child support. New York has its Child Support Enforcement program with the authority to collect and distribute payment, provide procedures to obtain court child support orders, and enforce child support orders. The family court judge determining the amount of child support will consider multiple factors, including:
- The emotional and physical needs of the child
- The child’s standard of living before the divorce
- Whether one parent has substantially less income than the other parent
- Any special needs the child may have
- The financial resources of both parents
- Whether the noncustodial parents paying support for any other children
- Non-financial contributions each parent makes toward the child’s well-being
- The child’s standard of living
Modifying Child Support Payments in New York
Sometimes significant life changes require a modification of an existing child support order. Parents have a right to petition for a modification in their child’s support order. The parent who wants to modify the order must submit a Child Support Modification Petition. A judge will review the petition in family court. There are several factors that the parent petitioning for an order can use:
- A substantial change in circumstance has occurred, such as a great increase in the child’s medical care costs
- One parent’s income has increased or decreased 15% since the order was first made, or since the court last modified it.
- Three years have passed since the order was first issued or modified by the court.
What if My Ex-Spouse Refuses to Pay Child Support?
It can be tempting to deny access to your children when an ex-spouse refuses to pay legally required child support. However, you cannot deny court-ordered visitation with your children when your co-parent does not pay. Child custody and child support are two separate legal matters.
Custodial parents cannot deny parental access without the court approving it. If you need to obtain unpaid child support, we recommend working with an attorney who can help you pursue enforcement measures. New York takes non-payment of child support seriously. When a parent refuses to pay child support, the court will hold a hearing. If they determine the parent is violating the child support order, it can take various actions, including:
- Garnishing the parent’s paycheck
- Revocation of passport
- Interception of tax refund and bank accounts
- Suspension of a driver’s license or professional license
- Held in contempt of court and a jail sentence of up to six months
Contact a Bronx Child Support Attorney Today
If you have a pressing child support matter you need help with, an experienced attorney can help. Reach out to the Bronx child support attorney Law Offices of Jayson Lutzky as soon as possible to schedule your free initial consultation.
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