All parents have a legal obligation to provide for their children financially, but unfortunately disputes over child support are common. By working with an experienced New York City child support attorney, you can ensure that your children have the financial resources they need and deserve. That’s where Aiello & DiFalco LLP steps in.
We have comprehensive knowledge of the applicable child support guidelines and work to resolve child support issues amicably. When child support issues cannot be negotiated, we are well-prepared to litigate in family court to achieve the best possible outcome. Above all, we are committed to protecting the well-being of your children. Contact our office today for a consultation.
About Child Support In New York City
Child support is the financial support one parent is required to pay to the other for children’s expenses. These expenses include:
- Living expenses, such as housing, clothing, and food
- Health care expenses/health insurance
- Educational and childcare expenses
Child support typically depends on the custody arrangements – the noncustodial parent will pay support to the custodial power. If the parents have equal physical custody, however, the party with a higher income will pay support to the other parent.
Support payments must be paid until the children turn 21, or until they are legally emancipated under state law. While the parties may agree to continue support payments until the children each reach 22 or graduate from college, the court cannot force a party to pay past the age of 21. Notably, a parent who fails to pay court-ordered child support may face serious legal consequences.
How Is Child Support Calculated in New York City
Child support payments are calculated based on the state’s guidelines. The courts consider the following factors:
- A percentage of the parent’s total gross annual income
- The number of children for whom the parents are responsible
Gross income includes wages, bonuses, overtime compensation, commissions, self-employment income, and all other sources of income.
For parents with a combined income below the applicable threshold (currently $163,000), the child support percentages are:
- One child: 17 percent
- Two children: 25 percent
- Three children: 29 percent
- Four children: 31 percent
- Five or more children: No less than 35 percent
If the parent’s combined income exceeds the cap, the courts may rely on these guidelines and other factors to award additional support. The court can decide to use the formula for the first $163,000, and determine the remainder based on the following factors:
- Each parent’s financial resources
- The child’s standard of living during the marriage
- The child’s physical and emotional health, including any special needs
- The tax consequences for each parent
- Non-monetary contributions each parent makes for the child’s care
- The needs of the noncustodial parent’s other children, if any
- Other factors the court deems appropriate
Child Support Cases Can Be Complicated
Although the state guidelines are clear, child support can become a sticking point when:
- The parties disagree about their income or the amount of support the child needs
- Either party attempts to conceal income or assets
- Their income is not clear, (e.g. a small business owner who has many deductions or reports losses)
In any event, child support cases are complex, especially if the combined parental income exceeds the statutory cap. Moreover, cases involving joint custody may require a deviation from the guidelines or adjustment to child support. At Aiello & DiFalco, we have the skills and experience to protect your rights and the well-being of your children.
Either parent can ask the court to modify a child support order if (1) three years have passed since the order was originally issued, and (2) there has been a change in income by 15 percent or more due to:
- The paying parent involuntarily losing their job
- A significant increase in either parent’s income
- Either parent becoming permanently disabled
- An increase in the child’s medical needs
If you are seeking to modify your agreement, our New York City child support attorneys can help to prepare and file the required petition, represent you in court, and work to protect your rights.
If the paying parent fails to pay child support without a valid reason, the court may enforce the order by:
- Ordering their employer to withhold payments from their paycheck (wage garnishment)
- Placing a lien on personal property, including a home or car
- Levying bank accounts
In addition, the court can hold a parent who knowingly or willfully fails to pay child support in contempt, which could result in jail time. However, the courts are typically reluctant to take this step because an incarcerated paying parent will not be able to earn the income to pay child support.
Talk To An Experienced New York City Child Support Attorney
Whether you are seeking to establish, modify, or enforce a child support order in New York City, turn to Aiello & DiFalco. You can trust us to protect your rights and find a workable solution for you and your children. Contact us today to get started.