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THE LEADING CHILD & SPOUSAL SUPPORT LAWYERS IN NEW YORK
We’re Leading Spousal and Child Support Lawyers on Long Island and New York City.
Child/spousal support, are the most important issues in any divorce or separation. Any divorce shouldn’t leave a spouse incapable of caring for him/herself, or their children. Nor, should any divorce leave a spouse required to pay excessive fees. The NYC law firm of Raiser & Kenniff, PC, has for years helped people with creative and innovative solutions to achieve desirable results. We can help get manageable child support and alimony payments. With over 40 years of combined experience, our firm has earned a reputation for unflinching and aggressive advocacy, which yields the best possible results in all cases.
Clients trust the law firm of Raiser & Kenniff, because:
-We’ve handled thousands of cases over the years
-We have 3 offices that cover the entire NYC/Long Island region.
-With former prosecutors as founding partners, being aggressive is in our DNA. We can win justice in cases where the non-custodial parent is misrepresenting his income, by using the power of a subpoena to aggressively investigate undisclosed income.
-How is child support calculated?
In New York, the Child Support Standards Act, provides guidelines to calculate payments. It’s based on a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income.
Below are some important facts regarding this law.
-First, the income of the two parents is combined, and then FICA and state tax is subtracted, to arrive at the adjusted combined gross income.
-From this number, 17% for one child, 25% for two children, 29% for three children, etc., is taken to reach the combined annual child support number.
-This number is then divided based on the non-custodial parent’s pro rata share of the parents’ adjusted combined gross income. For example, if the custodial parent makes $40,000 per year and the non-custodial parent makes $60,000, then the non-custodial parent is responsible for 60% of child support.
-The amount is then divided over twelve months to determine the exact payment schedule.
-The guidelines cap the percentage model at a combined parental income of $130,000 — any additional child support has to be negotiated by the -parties. Child support in New York continues until the child is 21.
In New York State, the law allows for usage of these payments to go towards necessities of any child, such as:
The non-custodial parent is not entitled to any form of accounting of expanses. Medical coverage and education expenses are additional expenses, and these amounts can be negotiated, or litigated, if need be.
One of the other things to consider when having a divorce is the fact that family courts often order support payments in order to maintain a spouse at the standard of living he/she enjoyed during the marriage. Maintenance can come in many forms.
There is no formula that dictates this. The court will grant/deny it, and set arbitrary payments, based on factors and attorney arguments. Because of how arbitrary this part of the divorce process is, it’s important to have a qualified and experienced attorney, who can adequately represent you, and your interests!
When couples get divorced, it disrupts the family and deeply affects the care of minor children produced by the marriage. For this reason, the parties will usually seek the assistance of a court to help determine custody of the children involved and how financial support for the children will be provided.
How is Child Support Calculated?
In New York, the courts take a dim view of parents neglecting their financial responsibilities toward their children. For this reason, strict laws determining what is appropriate have been enacted. The laws establish percentages upon which child support is determined for every family, ensuring that family courts are fair across the board.
In determining child support, the court looks at the income of both parents or guardians and deducts the predetermined percentage. For instance, child support for one child would be equivalent to %17 of the total income for both parents. Two children would require 25% and three would cost the divorced couple 29% of their combined income. For larger families with four children, the cost of child support would be equivalent to 31% of the parents’ combined income, while five or more children will cost the couple a minimum of 35% of their total income.
While this set of equations is standard, there are allowances that permit the courts to deviate from the predetermined variables. For instance, the court will look at all of the financial resources of both parents and the children to determine if child support payments should be adjusted. Additionally, the parents may be asked to contribute more support for children with health conditions or special developmental needs. Even through the divorce and the aftermath, the child’s standard of living must be maintained, so child support payments will reflect that goal.
The non-custodial parent may also ask for some relief, if he or she is also supporting children from another relationship. This may reduce that parent’s burden, so that all of the children involved will be able to maintain an appropriate standard of living. Similarly, the court will look at other contributions of each parent. For instance, providing a tutor or paying for extracurricular activities may be considered in determining how much each parent must contribute toward the support of the child.
The Cost of Living Can Affect Child Support
The courts also recognize that the cost of living can affect how much a dollar can buy and may respond to requests for an increase of child support on this basis. The custodial parent may enlist the help of an attorney to request an increase in child support payments from the other parent through a court procedure. When this request is made, a judge will look at the current payments in relation to the most recent cost of living increases, which will also be supplied by the plaintiff.
The statistics are provided by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of concern to the family court judge is the change in the annual average of the consumer price index. Where this change represents a 10% spike or higher, the judge may determine that the request for more child support is warranted.
The cost of living increase can be contested, if either parent or the support collection unit contests to the order within 35 days of its issuance. The objection must be made in writing and, therefore, may be best drafted by an experienced family law attorney. Once the objection has been filed, the increase in child support will be postponed, pending the outcome of a hearing. The court is required to set a date for the hearing within 45 days of the objection having been filed, so the delay in making the determination for the increased child support will be minimized.
During the hearing, proof showing the cost of living changes must be provided to both sides. The court may also use this hearing as an opportunity to ensure that the child has health insurance coverage and, if that’s not the case, the non-custodial parent may see an increase that also reflects that consideration. If the court does reinforce the cost of living increase, the adjusted child support payments will be prorated from the time at which the order was initially intended to take effect.
While child support can be confusing for the layperson, experienced family court lawyers can help either parent understand his or her rights. While the welfare of the child is the court’s primary concern, there are factors that may mitigate your responsibility. Seeking out a legal advocate can help you do what’s right for your child and for yourself.
The state of New York has two main types of support payments involved in divorce agreements. With these payments, one spouse will pay their former spouse an agreed-upon amount based on the terms of their settlement.
The first type of support is child support, which involves payments that a non-custodial parent gives to the custodial parent for their child’s upkeep. This is a way of filling their financial obligation as a parent. The second type of support is spousal support. This support is used when there’s a significant pay gap between the spouses, and the lower-income spouse needs payment to maintain financial independence.
Child Support Payments in New York City
Child support laws vary slightly from state to state. Fortunately, New York has passed a Child Support Standard Act. This act, also referred to as the CSSA, helps regulate the calculation of child support payments throughout the state. The goal is to make child support cases follow uniform laws rather than being entirely based on the whims of the judges.
However, child support laws and calculations are extremely complex. They take into account a great deal of different factors. Because of this, it’s imperative that you have a family law attorney help you with the process. They’ll be able to make sure that your rights are respected, that all paperwork is filed correctly, and that all calculations are accurate. An attorney is essential no matter whether you’re the spouse providing support payments or seeking support payments.
Child support payments are determined by considering both spouse’s incomes and the child’s standard of living. Any special developmental necessities or medical conditions will also contribute to the payment amount. Child support payments can be adjusted by the judge if there is a change in circumstances. One example would be the non-custodial parent losing a job, or the custodial parent suddenly gaining significant new income.
The goal of child support payments is to make sure the child is well cared for. The judge must rule with the child’s best interests at heart.
Each parent’s income is calculated by taking the gross amount of their assets and wages, then subtracting deductions like taxes. The final number is the amount of money that goes into each spouse’s pocket. If there are any spousal or child support payments that the non-custodial spouse is already paying, these will be deducted from the total income as well.
New York law has a specific algorithm that calculates the support amount based on the number of children and the non-custodial parent’s net income. Payments must continue either until the children have reached age 21 or become legally emancipated.
Spousal Support Payments
In the past, spousal support payments were referred to as alimony. New York state law considers spousal support to be very similar to child support. Like child support, the amount of the payment is calculated through a predetermined formula. Unlike child support payments, however, the money goes to the spouse rather than the child.
A related type of support is spousal maintenance. This action might be ordered during divorce proceedings, when the divorce has not yet been finalized. Since the couple is still married, spousal support payments have not yet gone into effect. However, some kind of spousal maintenance may be necessary for the lower-income spouse to live independently during the divorce proceedings.
Spousal support payments also bear a similarity to child support in that they may be adjusted if the circumstances change. When the cost of living goes up, a judge may reconsider the amount of the support payments. A judge might also adjust the amount if one spouse’s income changes significantly.
For changes in the payment to be made, one of the spouses needs to file a petition with the court. No matter whether you’re the spouse receiving payment or the spouse giving payment, it’s important to get a family law attorney to help you present your case.
Family law attorneys are familiar with family court and spousal support systems. They’ll be able to make sure your petition paperwork is filed on time and in the appropriate venue. They’ll also review the facts of your case and gather the necessary proof to justify the adjustment.
Changing a support agreement can be difficult no matter whether you want to lower or increase the payments. The original support agreement is considered a binding contract. You need to provide information explaining why that contract is no longer valid and needs to have its terms updated. An attorney can help with this