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When a parent petitions for child support, the Court makes the ultimate decision based upon very specific guidelines from the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA). These guidelines determine the specific amount of the non-custodial parent’s income that will be required for payment of child support.
In order to determine if the non-custodial parent is able to pay child support, the Court will investigate all income and assets by obtaining employment and tax documents. If the non-custodial parent’s whereabouts are not known, the Court will make attempts to locate the parent through Federal, State, and local resources.
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We are qualified to guide you through the legal complexities of child support.
Whether you are seeking initial child support, modification of child support, or looking to enforce non-payment, our firm is here to help you make sure that your child gets the proper support that he or she deserves. If you are going through a divorce, our Long Island family law firm is a one-stop-shop for all your legal matters. Let us guide you through these legal challenges to a brighter future.
Child Support Laws in New York
To obtain child support, a petition must be filed in Family Court to acquire an order for child support. After the financial information of the non-custodial parent is presented to the Court, the CSSA guidelines are viewed and an amount is determined based on gross income, as well as the number of children involved. As per the guidelines, the Court takes the adjusted gross income and multiplies it by the percentage that is associated with the number of children.
- 17% for One Child
- 25% for Two Children
- 29% for Three Children
- 31% for Four Children
That figure is then divided by 52 weeks to determine how much should be paid weekly and can be easily translated to monthly payments if the arrangement calls for it. This is the basic child support number. In addition to this, medical expenses, educational expenses, and child care are also taken into consideration. The overall child support payment is intended to cover the child’s costs of food, a place to live and clothing, as well as other basic living expenses.
The CSSA guideline is applied, almost always, to any parental income not in excess of $143,000.00. For any parental income over that amount, the Court may or may not use these guidelines and may take into consideration other ways of determining an amount for child support.
Child Support & Separation Agreements
Child support can be included in a separation agreement between the parties, which is a written contract that sets out the terms of the separation. A separation agreement can be negotiated and agreed upon by the parents with the help of attorneys or a mediator.
In New York, the separation agreement should include a provision for child support that is consistent with the CSSA formula. However, the parties can agree to a different amount of child support, as long as the agreement is in the best interests of the child and is not unconscionable.
If the parties agree to a different amount of child support, the court may review the agreement to ensure that it meets the child's needs and that it is fair and reasonable to both parties. The court may also consider whether the parties had adequate information about their financial situations when they entered into the agreement.
It's important to note that child support is the right of the child, not the parent, and the court has the authority to modify the child support amount at any time if there is a change in circumstances, such as a change in income or the child's needs. Therefore, even if the parties have agreed to a certain amount of child support in a separation agreement, the court can still modify the amount if it determines that the current amount is no longer appropriate.
When Does Child Support Stop in New York?
In New York, the termination of child support is an important legal process that requires careful consideration and adherence to specific guidelines. A child in New York State has the right to be assisted by his or her parents before he or she reaches the age of 21. However, there are certain circumstances in which support may be terminated earlier or extended beyond the age of 21.
If a child is under the age of 21 and is married, independent, or serving in the military, the child is deemed "emancipated," and the child support responsibility ceases.
When a child is between the ages of 17 and 21, he or she might be considered "emancipated" if he or she leaves the parents' home and refuses to follow the parents' fair orders.
Can Child Support be Modified in New York?
Child support is a crucial aspect of a divorce settlement for many parents in New York. However, life is unpredictable, and financial situations can change over time. Fortunately, parents in New York who are paying or receiving child support can apply for a modification to their order. The court considers a variety of factors when reviewing such requests, including changes in income, health, or living arrangements.
It is worth noting that modification requests require court approval, and it is best to work with an experienced Long Island child support attorney to navigate the process. Understanding how child support modifications work in New York can provide families the opportunity to adjust their financial responsibilities and focus on their children's best interests.
How Much Back Child Support is a Felony in New York?
Failure to comply with child support payments in New York is a form of child neglect and, in extreme child support cases over $10,000, should be guilty of a class E felony punishable under the penal code.
What Is the Punishment for Not Paying Child Support?
Once the child support order is finalized, the non-custodial parent must make the required payments by the appropriate date. If the parent does not make the payment in a timely fashion or if the payments are not made at all, a petition can be filed with the Court to have the child support order enforced.
Penalties of not paying the required child support include:
- Time in jail
- Having the money taken from paychecks
- Having tax refunds withheld
- Having your driver’s license suspended
Do you have more questions? Call Hedayati Law Group P.C. today at (631) 880-6440 to consult an experienced Long Island child support lawyer.