Zimmer, Mathiesen & Associates
Spousal & Child Support Lawyer in Suffolk County
Spousal & Child Support Lawyers Ready to Assist
Child support is a legal obligation as both parents are responsible for the welfare of the child. In a divorce case, one parent is likely to obtain primary custody of the child or children of the marriage. A parent who obtains primary custody of the child(ren) is deemed to be the “custodial” parent. The other parent is deemed the “non-custodial” parent. Generally, the non-custodial parent is responsible for paying child support to the custodial parent in order to assist with the all of the child’s needs. Voluntary gifts, clothing, food, and transportation are not considered child support. A child support obligation may also arise in a situation where unmarried parents establish paternity of the child or children of the relationship.
In New York, child support my be determined by either an out of Court agreement or as a result of a judgment from the Court. If the Court makes a judgment regarding child support, child support is based upon the Child Support Standards Act, which is a set calculation of both parents’ income and the number of children. If the parents choose to, they may reach an agreement outside of Court that deviates from the Child Support Standards Act guidelines in an amount that is greater or lesser than the amount to be paid pursuant to the Child Support Standards Act. However, such agreement may still be subject to approval from the Court.
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How Child Support Is Calculated in Suffolk County
It is imperative that any agreement made regarding child support be made in writing in order to protect both parties. There is specific language that must be included in these types of agreements in order for them to take effect. In the event that your spouse is not voluntarily paying child support under a child support order in place, our office can enforce the terms of the order through the Child Support Enforcement Bureau and the child support may also be directly deducted from the noncustodial parent’s paycheck each pay period.
If you have a child support order issued by the Court that is currently in effect, the order may be modified if there is a fifteen (15%) percent increase or decrease in the income of the non-custodial parent, if three (3) years have passed since the prior order went into effect, or if there is a substantial change in circumstances that would warrant a modification of child support. A modification of child support is not guaranteed and is based on the particular facts of the case. This is why you should consult with one of the experienced child support attorneys at our firm as we can prepare and file the appropriate child support petition on your behalf.
The Child Support Standards Act in New York calculates child support by taking the non-custodial parents’ gross income, minus deductions for social security and medicaid, and multiplying it by the percentage that applies which is based on the number of children from the relationship. The following are the applicable child support percentages pursuant to the Child Support Standards Act:
One child = 17%
Two children = 25%
Three children = 29%
Four children = 31%
Five or more children = At least 35%
Under New York State law, child support is paid from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent until the youngest child becomes 21 years old. In some cases, upon agreement, the non-custodial parent continues to pay child support until the children become 22 years old if the children are still in college.
The non-custodial parent is also obligated to pay for a proportional share of the child or children’s educational expenses, child care expenses, and health care expenses in addition to the basic child support obligation pursuant to the Child Support Standards Act. If a non-custodial parent fails to pay child support, the court may garnish his or her wages, put a lien on any property owned by the parent, or an income execution may be instituted by a Court Order or Judgment. Once a Judgment is obtained through the Court system, the amount owed continues to collect with a nine (9%) percent interest rate.
If you require assistance in the midst of a dispute regarding child support, are interested in creating a workable child support arrangement in or outside of Court, or need help with child support enforcement, one of our experienced New York Family Court attorneys can help. Call our office at (631) 493-0278 to set up a free consultation today.
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