Child support is far from a straightforward process. It is much more than merely how the child’s basic necessities will be paid for. There might be child care, educational and medical expenses that need to be addressed. The non-custodial parent might have a cash based business or work off the books. And of course there are collection and modification issues. Don’t be overwhelmed. Make the call and the Law Offices of Steven Gildin, located in Queens, NY will help you understand the entire process and provide the support you need during this trying time.
When facing a separation or divorce, a common thought is, “how much child support am I going to have to pay?” or “how much child support will I receive?” Although the applicable statute calls for a rather long and convoluted calculation to determine the amount of child support, there is an easy, shortcut formula that will quickly get you a close estimate.
Here it is:
- Gross Income of the Parent That Will Be Paying
- Minus FICA (social security and Medicare taxes)
- Minus City Taxes (if any, i.e.: New York City)
- Equals Net Income For Child Support Purposes of the Parent That Will Be Paying
- Times 17% If There is One Child – or –
- Times 25% If There are Two Children – or –
- Times 29% If There are Three Children – or –
- Times 31% If There are Four Children
- Equals the Amount of Child Support to Be Paid
Of course, it becomes complicated when one cannot easily determine what the gross income of the parent who will be paying is (under-employed, unnecessarily unemployed, self-employed, paid all or partially off the books).
Also, technically the law only requires child support to be set on the first $130,000 of combined parental income, but unless the joint income is very substantial, it will typically not change on the excess income.
What Does That Child Support Payment Cover?
The above initial calculation is to cover basics – food, clothing and shelter
Are There Additional Payments?
Yes. These are called “add-ons”. Mandatory “add-ons” include child care and unreimbursed health expenses. Discretionary “add-ons” include private school, activities and summer camp.
Generally, “add-ons” are paid in proportion to both parent’s joint income contribution. For example, if one parent earns $30,000 and the other earns $60,000, then the “add-ons” will be paid 1/3 – 2/3.
Can The Amount Paid Change?
Until October of 2010, once child support was set, it was nearly impossible to change to either a lower or higher amount. But since October of 2010, this was done away with and now it is quite easy to alter the amount paid. If three (3) years have transpired since the last Child Support Order was issued by the Court, then one is entitled to a recalculation. Also, if the income of either the parent paying the support or receiving the support has changed by at least fifteen percent (15%) since the last Child Support Order was issued by the Court, then one is also entitled to a recalculation, regardless of how much time has elapsed.
But remember, nothing can be altered without the Court issuing a new Order. So if you want a change, it is your responsibility to go back to Court.
Is The Person Who Receives The Money Forced to Spend It In A Particular Way?
No. Although the money is intended to be used for the welfare of the child, the Court has no power to dictate how it is spent.
What If The Child Doesn’t Need The Money?
Let’s say the child is a successful actor, making oodles of money. Yes, the law still requires you to pay child support out of your salary.
Let’s say the parent receiving the child support has tons of money of their own. Yes, the law still requires you to pay child support out of your salary.
Let’s say the parent paying the support is on Social Security Disability and by receiving such benefits the child themselves also receives their own monthly check from the Federal Government? Yes, the law still requires you to pay child support out of the monthly benefit check that you receive.
* The above are just some broad guidelines to give you a better understanding of the issue of child support and cannot be construed as exacting legal advice. You should fill out the contact form on this website and come in for an in office meeting for a full analysis.
Call today for more information and a Free Consultation on getting the benefits your children deserve in a divorce from an experienced Queens attorney.