child-support

Child Support in New York: How Much Each Parent Contributes

October 7, 2020

Child support is payment made to a custodial parent for the child’s needs. When parents are getting divorced or are otherwise not together, determining custody and child support can be contentious issues. Here, we discuss the basics of child support and how much each parent contributes.

 

The Basics of Child Support

“Basic” support is intended to cover expenses such as housing, clothing, and necessities like clothing. “Add-on” expenses can also be included, such as health care, education, and child care costs. Support is required until the child is 21 or is otherwise emancipated, and it is paid to the custodial parent. This is the person who has physical custody of the child more than 50% of the time.

To determine the amount of support, a court will first determine each parent’s income. Certain deductions will reduce the income. Then, each parent’s income is added together, and the court multiplies the combined income by a percentage.

  • 17% for one child
  • 25% for two children
  • 29% for three children
  • 31% for four children
  • 35% or more for five or more children

Note that if the combined income is greater than $154,000 per year, the court can choose whether to use the percentage guidelines for the income in excess of $154,000. The court will then divide the percentage amount based upon each parent’s pro rata share of the income. As a last step, the court considers whether the support amount is fair, considering several factors.

 

Case Study – Molly and Ryan

Molly and Ryan are before the court to determine child support. They have two children and Ryan will be the custodial parent. Molly makes $80,000 per year, and Ryan makes $40,000 per year.

  • What is the combined parental income?
    $80,000 + $40,000 = $120,000
  • Is the combined parental income in excess of $154,000?
    No
  • What is the child support statutory percentage?
    $120,000 × 25% = $30,000
  • What is each parent’s pro rata share?
    Molly: $30,000 × (2/3) = $20,000
    Ryan: $30,000 × (1/3) = $10,000
  • Who pays support and how much?
    Ryan is the custodial parent, so Molly will pay support. She will pay $20,000 to Ryan per year.

 

Case Study – Amy and Thomas

Amy and Thomas are before the court to determine child support. They have three children and Amy will be the custodial parent. Amy makes $120,000 per year, and Thomas makes $180,000 per year.

  • What is the combined parental income?
    $120,000 + $180,000 = $300,000
  • Is the combined parental income in excess of $154,000?
    Yes
  • What is the child support statutory percentage?
    $154,000 × 29% = $44,660
  • What is each parent’s pro rata share?
    Amy: $44,660 × (2/5) = $17,864
    Thomas: $44,660 × (6/10) = $26,796
  • How much is the income in excess of $154,000?
    $300,000 – $154,000 = $146,000
  • Who pays support and how much?
    Amy is the custodial parent, so Thomas will pay support. The minimum he will pay to Amy is $26,796 per year. The court may also require Thomas to pay additional support based on the combined parental income in excess of $154,000. For example, if the court applies the statutory percentage to the excess income, Thomas would have to pay an additional $25,404 [($146,000 × 29%) × (6/10) = $25,404] in support to Amy every year.

 

Disputes Relating to Child Support

If you are getting divorced or if you are in a custody battle, contact our offices today. The lawyers at Pappalardo & Pappalardo, LLP will work with attorneys John Guttridge and Jo-ann Cambareri to provide you the answers to all your matrimonial and family law questions.

 

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