Child Support

In New York, child support is calculated as a percentage of up to $141,000.00 of the total combined income of both parents, based on their previous year's tax return, after subtracting FICA taxes and NYC income taxes. The New York Child Support Standards Act guidelines provides that children are entitled to be supported by the non-custodial parent until the age of 21 years,(22 years if attending college) unless they are emancipated before their 21st.birthday. Emancipation occurs when a child marries, or obtains gainful employment, or joins the military. Child support payments are not tax deductible.

Child support is calculated as a simple percentage of the adjusted income amount based on the number of children supported, ie.

One child -17% to be paid

Two children - 25% to be paid

Three children -29% to be paid

Four children - 31% to be paid

Five or more children -35 % to be paid

The basic child support obligation covers expenses like food,shelter and clothing for the child. Additional child support covers health care,babysitter, educational expenses and summer camp. The additional child support payments are calculated pro-rata based on the incomes of both parents.

A child support order from the court determines the amount of child support to be paid by the non-custodial parent. A court order for child support can be lowered by filing a motion to modify the payments, based on a compelling reason, such as a major change in the financial situation of one or both parents,ie Job loss,which results in a substantial decrease in income that deviates from the state guidelines. Filing for bankruptcy or quitting employment will not be considered in an application to lower child support payments. If the non-custodial parent quits his or her employment without a valid reason to evade child support payments, the consequences can be serious, which include Contempt Orders, court fines, decreased credit scores, garnished wages, driver's license suspension, seized bank accounts, tax refund forfeiture or imprisonment.