How Is Child Support Calculated?

A common question I’m asked is how is child support calculated. Child support is calculated pursuant to the Child Support Standards Act, but there are a number of factors that a court will consider when applying that statute in terms of lowering or increasing that amount of support, which we can discuss further. Please contact our office to arrange a free confidential consultation to discuss child support and how it is calculated in New York State.

Parents have two options for creating an order for support. First, they can go through mediation and create an agreement. Once the order is completed, the law firm can submit it to the court to make it official. Then the noncustodial parent will begin making payments.

Second, parents can let the courts decide. The court uses a formula for determining the amount of support. The court combines the income of both parents. When the income falls below $148,000 a year, it multiplies it by a percentage based on the number of children. It is 17 percent for one child, 25 percent for two, 29 percent for three, and 31 percent for four. If the parents have five or more children, the percentage is 35 percent or more. This is considered the yearly cost of raising the children.

Then the court splits the amount between both parents to determine how much each person should pay. If a noncustodial parent makes 30 percent of the combined pay, he or she will be expected to pay 30 percent of the costs. If he or she makes 70 percent of the income, he or she will be expected to pay 70 percent of the costs and so on.

If the combined pay is greater than $148,000, the courts have some leeway determining child support. The court can use the same formula or its own. It can also choose to use the method for income below the income cap. That means the extra income will not be considered for the child support order.

With so many complexities, it’s wise to hire a family law attorney. Even though the state uses a percentage, other factors, such as private school and medical conditions, can be taken into account. Having proper representation is critical during this process.

To learn more about how child support is calculated in New York State, contact dedicated Rochester family law attorney Michelle Cimino for a free consultation.

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