Child Support Attorneys in Long Island NY

Child Support After Divorce

Child support is a basic right that a child possesses in New York State. Whether it is an initial determination of child support, or the enforcement or modification of an existing child support order, having an experienced New York divorce lawyer can help determine and enforce your rights.

There are several instances where child support may be an issue:

  • An initial determination of child support, either by way of an application for divorce of just for child support;
  • The enforcement of a child support order when there are child support arrears due;
  • A modification of a child support order, either increasing or decreasing the amount due.

If the parties were married when the child was born, the child support can be brought even if the parties are still married. The right to support goes back to the date of the application for support.

In NY, child support is determined by application of a statute known as the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA).

If the parties were not married when the child was born, in order to file for child support, the parties would need to have executed an acknowledgment of paternity and have a copy for the court. If an acknowledgement of paternity was not executed, to get an order of support, an action for an order of filliation (paternity) must first be won, and then child support will be determined. The child support obligation goes back to the date of the application for the order of filiation.

How is Child Support Calculated in New York?

In New York State, child support is determined by application of a statute known as the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA). Child support in New York continues until age twenty one (unless sooner emancipated). The CSSA calculates the child support utilizing a mathematical formula that multiplies the adjusted combined parental income against a child support percentage (the child support percentage depends on the number of un-emancipated children), and allocates the child support payable by the non-custodial parent in the same percentage as the non-custodial parent's share of the total parental income (commonly referred to as the pro rata share).

Adjusted gross income is determined by deducting from gross income FICA tax paid, city tax paid, any child support payable by court order, maintenance payable, and other allowable deductions.

The Child Support Percentages Are As Follows:

  • One Child: 17% of the combined parental income;
  • Two Children: 25% of the combined parental income;
  • Three Children: 29% of the combined parental income;
  • Four Children: 31% of the combined parental income;
  • Five or more Children: No less than 35% of the combined parental income.

The application of the child support percentages is mandatory up to the first $136,000.00 of adjusted combined parental income. This income cap is governed by the Social Services Law and is subject to change every other year based on the Consumer Price Index published by the U. S. Department of Labor.

There are mandatory additions to child support for health insurance, un-reimbursed health care expenses and child care expenses, and there are discretionary additions for educational expenses. The additions to child support are allocated with each party paying a pro rata share of the same.

Parties can agree to "opt out" of the child support standards act, and set an amount for child support that is more or less than the amount required under the CSSA, but the requirements for such an "opt out" agreement are very strict, and there is an ability for the court to modify such an agreement under specific circumstances.

Child Support Enforcement and Modification in NY

Child Support enforcement proceedings can be brought for straight enforcement, or for contempt where the relief sought is not only the arrears but the incarceration of the non-custodial parent. Many times seeking incarceration helps to give the defaulting party an incentive to come up with the arrears due and bring the child support account current.

Child Support modification proceedings can be brought if one of the parties has had a substantial change in circumstances necessitating the upward or downward modification of the child support obligation. The law regarding modification was changed in 2010 to add two more bases for modification. Prior to the change in the law, if the initial child support order was entered into by agreement rather than by court order, the standard to modify the child support order was much stricter and had to be properly plead and proven. Now, the same standard applies whether the initial child support order was the result of an agreement or a court order. All child support orders must include a notice informing the parties of the new law, which states that they have a right to seek a modification if they can show:

  • A substantial change in circumstances;
  • That 3 years have passed since the child support order was entered, modified or adjusted;
  • A change in either party’s income by 15% or more since the child support order was entered, last modified or adjusted.

When dealing with the determination of child support, it is imperative that you have experienced Long Island divorce lawyers who are fully familiar with the Child Support Standards Act. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Paul A. Boronow, PC regularly have hearings regarding CSSA application, modification and enforcement throughout Long Island and New York City, and regularly draft agreements for clients to opt out of the CSSA and set an amount of child support that deviates from the amount as required by the CSSA.

If you are interested in making an application for a child support order, or an application to enforce or modify an existing child support order, or if you have received a summons to appear in court, you should immediately consult with experienced divorce lawyers to ascertain your obligations and protect your rights. The divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Paul A. Boronow, PC are fully versed in matrimonial and family law, have matrimonial and family law actions pending across Long Island in Nassau County and are available to assist you in protecting your rights.

To discuss your particular case and concerns, contact us at (516) 227-5353 to arrange for a free consultation.

Call us at (516) 227-5353 to arrange for a free consultation.

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