Under New York law, parents must financially support their children until they reach 21 years of age or become legally emancipated. When parents separate or get divorced, the court legally requires this responsibility through a child support order. The amount of child support a noncustodial parent is required to pay is derived from the Child Support Standards Act which serves as the baseline New York child support calculator.
Regardless of any imposed guidelines on financial support, co-parenting during and after a divorce requires the parents to put the child’s best interests first. It is especially important to get the help of an experienced New York child support attorney who can provide attentive support and quality legal counsel on matters of child support and maintenance. At the law offices of Juan Luciano Divorce Lawyer, we take pride in providing passionate legal representation in cases of child support and family law. To learn more about how we can help you, call our office today at (212) 537-5859.
Child support, also referred to as child maintenance, in New York is typically dependent on who holds custody of the child. In most cases, the court requires the noncustodial parent to pay child support to the custodial parent. This financial support is to be used for the child’s needs.
Child support payments are meant to be continually paid until the child reaches the age of majority or the child support order is modified. Basic child support is meant to cover the following expenses of the child:
The court can also add the following expenses even though they are not considered mandatory under the law:
If a child’s parents can agree on who pays child support and by how much, the court may not intervene provided that the agreement is in the child’s best interests. If the parents cannot come to an agreement regarding child support, the court will decide the amount of child support using a formula called the Child Support Standards Act.
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The New York Child Support Standards Act helps simplify the process of calculating child support. It uses an income shares model to calculate the share of the parents’ combined income a child would have received if the parents had remained married. It is important to remember that the CSSA income shares model uses the parents’ joint income and the amount of child support obligation varies depending on the number of children the parents share.
The court may deviate from the CSSA if the parents’ combined salaries exceed $163,000 (as of March 1, 2022). In this case, the court may decide to increase the value of a child support order as it deems appropriate.
If the parents decide to agree on child support payments that deviate from the amount determined by the CSSA, they will need to state the reasoning behind their decision not to use the calculation in a written agreement. They are also required to sign the document and acknowledge that they are making an informed decision to deviate from the formula.
However, if the court decides that the amount agreed upon by both parties is not enough to support the child’s needs, the court can override the parents’ agreement. Even if the custodial parent gives up their right to receive child support, New York courts can still impose a minimum amount of $25.00 per month.
The CSSA is a baseline calculator that serves to standardize the amount of support a child should receive. There are some cases where a child’s parents would come together and negotiate an amount that deviates from the guidelines in the interest of their child’s wellbeing. If you and your co-parent would like to come to such an agreement, getting the help of an experienced New York child support attorney can be beneficial.
Juan Luciano, a skilled Manhattan family law attorney, has provided quality legal counsel and representation to New York families in matters of child maintenance. We may be able to help you determine a child maintenance amount that takes into consideration the current and future potential needs of your child, based on our extensive experience. Call us today at (212) 537-5859 to schedule a consultation.
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The New York Family Court typically gives out a temporary child support order regardless of immediacy or actual need. Even if the financial disclosure in a divorce case has not yet been given, a child support requirement is still ordered for the noncustodial parent to pay just to ensure that the child’s needs are met. If the financial disclosure has been provided, the court will calculate the temporary child maintenance order in accordance with the CSSA formula.
Once the divorce has been finalized, the court would either recognize the agreement the parents have made regarding how much child support should be paid or create the final and binding child support order. In instances where the temporary child support order is an amount higher than the final support order, the payor parent could receive a credit against future child maintenance payments. Should the opposite case be true, in which the final child support order is higher than the temporary order, the payor parent may be required to pay arrears to the custodial parent.
Given that the matter of child custody is not yet final while a temporary child support order is in place, the issue of who the custodial parent is would rely on whose custody the child sleeps in the most. This determination is made regardless of how many waking hours the child spends in either parent’s custody.
It is generally the noncustodial parent who is responsible for paying child support. For cases where the parents share equal time with their child, the parent with the higher income would be considered the noncustodial parent in a child maintenance case. If parents share joint custody, the court may consider more flexibility in terms of deviations from the guideline formula under the CSSA.
Getting the help of an experienced New York child support attorney is essential when deciding on matters of your child’s welfare. A skilled attorney can help you understand your and your child’s rights and can negotiate an appropriate child support arrangement for your child’s benefit.
Our team of qualified New York child support attorneys at the law offices of Juan Luciano Divorce Lawyer has dedicated their careers to providing quality legal assistance to New Yorkers in matters of family law. Juan Luciano, an experienced Manhattan family law attorney, uses a compassionate but practical approach when dealing with matters of child support. To schedule a consultation and discuss your legal options with skilled attorney Juan Luciano, call us today at (212) 537-5859.
The CSSA considers all types of income by a parent when computing their child support obligation, not only wages and salaries earned from their employment. Additional sources of income such as the following also count towards parental income under the CSSA:
Public assistance is not considered income and will be removed from the total calculated parental income. As such, Supplemental Security Income is not considered part of parental income in New York.
If the payor parent is found to be voluntarily unemployed or is earning less than what they are capable of earning, the court can impute income based on their employment and wage history. If the parent does not have any prior employment history, the imputed income is calculated at the minimum wage.
The court imputes income to avoid cases where a parent intentionally quits a well-paying job to avoid paying child support. For example, if the noncustodial parent quits their job paying $60,000 a year as an engineer and takes a minimum wage job, the court can require them to pay child support as if they are still earning their previous salary as an engineer. This conscious choice of a parent to not maximize their earning capacity is considered by the court as acting in bad faith.
Any monetary gifts, benefits, and perks a noncustodial parent receives such as money from parents, relatives, or friends can also be used by the court to calculate their imputed income. Income can also be imputed from holding non-income assets, such as real estate that do not produce income but appreciate in value.
Additional factors the court can use to determine whether or not to impute income include:
The noncustodial parent is allowed to give their reasons for why they are unemployed or have a reduced income. The court will not impute income if the reason for the parent’s reduced earning capacity is outside their control such as an underlying medical condition, general economic conditions, or the conditions in the parent’s line of work, or being laid off as a result of company downsizing. Imputed income is unique to child support matters in New York and is not considered for spousal support cases.
Certain tax liabilities may also cause higher child support costs for the noncustodial parent. Phantom income refers to income that is not received but shows up on a person’s tax returns. If the court only refers to a parent’s tax returns to calculate child support, their child support obligation may be inflated and would not reflect their actual income-generating capacity.
The amount of child support obligation you will be required to pay is highly dependent on your income. If you feel that there is a chance that the court will impute income in your case, negotiating with your spouse regarding the amount of your parental child support may be beneficial. Having the help of an experienced New York child support attorney can be beneficial in representing your case before the family court and successfully defending against an imputed income.
Juan Luciano, a skilled Manhattan divorce and family law attorney, has helped represent the interests of many New Yorkers in obtaining an amicable resolution of their child support concerns. We may be able to assist you in presenting your case and protecting your rights against imputed income. Call us today at (212) 537-5859 to learn more about your legal options.
The custodial parent can enforce the payment of child support with the help of a skilled NY child support lawyer. Once a final child support order is in place, the noncustodial parent is required to make their payments or they can suffer the following consequences:
Paying child support is required even if there is a pending modification appeal. Under the Child Support Program, the government can use federal, state, and local resources to help custodial parents locate noncustodial parents guilty of not paying child support. Support Collection Units (SCU) under the program also collect, track, and disburse child support payments to the custodial parent but may collect a fee for their service. Child Support Enforcement Units are also authorized to conduct actions against a non-paying noncustodial parent to ensure payment of child support.
Either parent can also apply for a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for child support two years from the date the order is passed. A COLA can be approved if there is a 10% change in the Consumer Price Index for urban areas (CPI-U) as verified by the federal government. The change is compared against the CPI-U of the year of the most recent child support order.
The Child Support Program also automatically reviews child maintenance orders every two years. If the child maintenance case is temporary or a safety net assistance case, the COLA adjustment is automatically applied when the case becomes eligible.
The Child Support Program also assists both custodial and noncustodial parents who have experienced a drastic change in their living situation that can potentially affect the child support order such as changes in custody, loss of a job, or a significant medical concern.
Having the help of an experienced New York child support attorney may be beneficial in ensuring that your child support modification request is approved by the court. Our team of experienced attorneys at the law offices of Juan Luciano Divorce Lawyer may be able to examine your financial situation and help file a child support modification petition that supports your family’s best interests. Call us today at (212) 537-5859 to schedule a consultation and explore your available options.
Going through a divorce can both be an emotionally and financially difficult time. Juan Luciano, a Manhattan family law attorney, has dedicated his practice to helping families in New York navigate the complicated legal issues that often come with a divorce. Our team of New York child support attorneys at the law offices of Juan Luciano Divorce Lawyer aims to provide quality legal assistance that allows families to get a fresh start. We serve the areas of the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Westchester, and Upper East Side, New York.
To learn more about how we can help you, and to schedule a consultation, call us today at (212) 537-5859.