Child Support often is litigated in two very different Courts. If an action for divorce is not pending, then the issue of Child Support may be decided in Family Court. Once an action for divorce is ongoing, the subject of Child Support is addressed in the Supreme Court. In New York, child support is often paid by the non-custodial parent for the support, maintenance and education of the children. Child support is terminated when a child reaches the age of 21 or is earlier emancipated. The parents however may agree to support their children beyond the age of 21, for example, until the children graduate from college. Child support in New York is calculated pursuant to the New York Child Support Standards Act (“CSSA”) (Domestic Relations Law §240(1–b) and Family Court Act § 413(1)(b)). The guidelines contains tables which consider the gross incomes of both parents and appropriate deductions. The “basic child support obligation” is calculated by multiplying the “combined parental income” by the appropriate “child support percentage.” “Income” is defined as “gross income as was or should have been reported on the most recent federal income tax return” less deductions for social security and New York City and Yonkers income taxes.” The “child support percentage” is set forth as follows:
17% of the combined parental income for one child;
25% of the combined parental income for two children;
29% of the combined parental income for three children;
31% of the combined parental income for four children; and
no less than 35% of the combined parental income for five or more children.
This formula is adjusted for parents with income below the self-support reserve or the poverty income guideline amount. Moreover the CSSA contains an income “ceiling” of $141,000.00 to which the aforesaid percentages are applied. If the parents income exceeds $141,000.00 then the Court can apply additional factors to determine an appropriate order of Child Support. In addition to Child Support, the Court can order the non-custodial parent to pay hisher pro rata share of the child’s future reasonable health care expenses not covered by insurance as well as appropriate child care expenses when the custodial parent is working or attending school. Child support is retroactive to the date that a petition or motion is filed with the Court. If however the custodial parent was or is receiving social services, the County Department of Social Services can sue the non-custodial parent for child support retroactive to the date that the child became eligible for services. Additionally in the case where the child was born out of wedlock, the child’s mother can bring a Family Court paternity proceeding in which the father, if paternity is established, may be required to pay the expenses of her pregnancy and delivery.
Our family law attorneys at Guttmann & Kellner P.C. have three decades of trial experience. We are skilled in negotiation however it takes two parties to make a deal. If the adverse parent refuses to be reasonable then you can count on our experience as Trial Attorneys to be by your side.