EXPERIENCED & COMPASSIONATE LEGAL GUIDANCE
MANHATTAN CHILD SUPPORT LAWYER
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When parents divorce, they will need to determine who will have custody and how their child’s emotional and financial needs will be met. If parents cannot come to an agreement, a judge will be forced to decide for them.
Our Manhattan child support attorneys are ready to help you navigate the divorce process and protect your family. At Roven Law Group, P.C., we are extensively familiar with how New York courts handle issues of child support. Our lead attorney has been through this process herself and knows what you are going through. No matter your circumstances, we will work hard to get the best results possible for you and your child. We can also assist you with enforcing existing orders if your ex-spouse is refusing to make child support payments.
HOW CHILD SUPPORT IS CALCULATED IN NEW YORK
The amount of child support that a spouse will be expected to pay will depend on the parents’ combined income, each parent’s ability to pay, and the number of applicable children. Any child under the age of 21 will generally factor into child support calculations.
If your shared income is $154,000 or less at the time of your divorce, child support payments will be calculated based on an established formula. This involves multiplying your shared total income by the appropriate set percentage. The more children you have, the higher the child support amount is likely to be.
As of 2021, New York’s “child support percentages” are:
- 17% for one child
- 25% for two children
- 29% for three children
- 31% for four children
- 35% for five or more children
Say you have an annual income of $35,000, and your ex-spouse has an annual income of $65,000. This gives you a combined income of $100,000, which is under the $154,000 threshold. If you have physical custody of two children, you will multiply $100,000 by 25%, giving you $25,000. You will be expected to contribute 35% of $25,000 because your income makes up 35% of the total ($100,000). Because you have physical custody of your two children, it is assumed that you will contribute at least that much by directly paying your children’s expenses. Your ex-spouse must contribute 65% of $25,000, meaning their base annual child support amount will be set at $16,250.
Keep in mind that these calculations only produce a base, or minimum, amount. A judge may, at their discretion, choose to increase support obligations to cover expenses associated with a child’s medical, educational, and childcare needs. It should also be emphasized that child support is distinct from spousal maintenance.
Calculations can become more complex if you and your ex-spouse’s combined income exceeds $154,000. A judge may choose to use the same formula and apply it across all income. A court may also elect to only apply the formula to the first $154,000 of combined income. In this scenario, a judge will decide whether and to what degree any additional income will influence child support payment amounts.
When deciding issues of child support and evaluating what to do with combined income in excess of $154,000, a New York judge will consider the following:
- The available financial resources of all parties
- Any significant disparity between each parent’s incomes
- The child’s standard of living prior to the divorce
- The child’s health, including any known physical or mental disabilities
- How each parent plans to care for the child outside of providing financial resources
- The educational needs of each parent
- Anticipated tax consequences
Regardless of your and your ex-spouse’s combined income, our team is prepared to aggressively advocate for your interests. Our Manhattan child support attorneys will walk you through what your support arrangement might look like and develop a strategy for how we will obtain the best possible result.
HOW LONG DO CHILD SUPPORT ARRANGEMENTS LAST IN NEW YORK?
Though child custody and visitation arrangements terminate when children turn 18, most child support orders will remain in place until children turn 21. Child support arrangements will only end early under specific circumstances.
Changes to existing child support orders can be sought if there has been a substantial change in circumstances. Someone may request a modification if they have lost income or have suffered an unavoidable increase in expenses, for example. These requests can become problematic if they interfere with the custodial parent’s ability to adequately provide for the child or children.
At Roven Law Group, P.C., our Manhattan child support lawyers are committed to helping you obtain the financial resources you need to provide for your children. Our team can help you seek reasonable modifications or defend against spurious changes to an existing order.
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