Child support is an important issue in any action for divorce, as well as in cases where the parties have never been married. Regardless of marital status, both parents have a financial obligation to support their children. The child support laws ensure that both parents fulfill this responsibility.
How is Basic Child Support Calculated?
Basic child support is intended to provide for the child’s basic necessities of food, clothing, and shelter. Basic child support in New York is based on a complicated mathematical formula that is set at a percentage of combined parental income depending on the number of children:
17% for one child
25% for two children
29% for three children
31% for four children
35% for five or more children
Although the parents’ combined income is generally capped at $148,000, a court in its discretion may deviate from this number. The support obligation is then apportioned in accordance with each parent’s pro rata share. Typically, the non-custodial parent will be ordered to pay support to the custodial parent. In situations of joint custody, the higher earner will be ordered to pay child support to the lower earner.
In addition to basic child support, mandatory add-ons are calculated and proportioned in accordance with the parents’ pro rata shares. As basic support does not account for each and every expense that can arise, the court must include mandatory add-ons in the Order that cover health insurance, medical expenses, and child care expenses.
A child support order can also include “discretionary add-ons,” such as expenses for tuition and extracurricular activities. The court in its discretion may include these expenses in the Order, but they are not mandatory. These items would also be apportioned in accordance with the parents’ pro rata shares.
If you are facing a child support issue in New York, The Law Office of Jessica M. Semins can help. The Law Office of Jessica M. Semins is available to handle matrimonial and family law matters throughout New York City, Long Island, and Westchester and is dedicated to providing compassionate counsel and aggressive representation to each client. Consultations are by appointment only and can be scheduled in Manhattan or Melville for the convenience of clients. Call today (646) 397-6844.
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