Long Island Child Support and Family Law Attorneys
Fighting for a fair and just child support agreement in Nassau and Suffolk County
In the state of New York, parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children until the age of 21. Long Island courts have the authority to order parents to a structured support system in times of divorce, separation, or other legal matters. New York has guidelines that determine what is fair to both the parents and the children. Determining child support is a complicated process and many factors are considered. The guidelines are mostly predictable and presumed to be fair and just.
The Child Support Standards Act explained
The New York Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) fairly distributes the financial cost of raising a child between parents. The CSSA states that basic child support will be determined by taking a percentage of the combined income of the parents, up to $80,000, and allocating the support between parties in proportion to each income. The percentages are as follows:
- One child- 17%
- Two children- 25%
- Three children- 29%
- Four children- 31%
- Five or more children- no less than 35%
Other factors that contribute to child support
There are countless other factors that contribute to the allocation of child support. For example, if the primary caregiver has custody of a child 5 days a week, the other guardian may have to pay more in consideration for the other’s cost of housing and feeding the child. The primary caregiver takes on more of the financial responsibilities, including the child’s share of expenses for food, clothing, shelter, transportation, entertainment, and unreimbursed healthcare costs up to a certain amount. Some of the parental factors courts will examine include:
- Educational background
- Earning capability
- Income, debt, and assets of each parent
- Work history
The guidelines will examine factors about the child. Some may include:
- The age and health of the child
- The education of the child
- The needs of the child
- The cost of providing for the child, including child care
The court has the authority to adjust the child support payments. Other considerations may include:
- Any special needs of the child
- The tax consequences of each spouse
- The educational needs of either parent
- The financial resources of the child and each parent
Child support modification
Long Island courts are open to helping parents come to a fair and just agreement. Judges will consider factors like the loss of employment, changes in financial status, and contributions to the marriage in times when modification is requested. If parents come to an agreement outside of the court’s ruling, they can apply a waiver that states the new agreement. The agreement must use the guidelines as a basis and the court must agree that it is fair and just.
When does child support end?
Lastly, in New York, child support payments generally expire at the age of 21. In some cases, this could extend through college and beyond, depending on the court’s ruling under unique circumstances. To end payments, the parents will file the necessary papers with the court declaring emancipation of the child. The court must agree to allow the payments to stop.
Contact experienced Long Island attorneys who cares
Whether you need to receive or are ordered to pay support, the Long Island attorneys at The Pollack Law Firm, P.C. are here to assist you in your matter. We have the experience to guide you through the child support laws of New York. Our clients deserve a just child support settlement and our attorneys are committed to achieving a fair conclusion. The Pollack Law firm, P.C. has the compassion and professionalism to help you through your legal matter. Contact us today for a consultation.