Long Island Child Support Attorney

Relationships May End, But Families Don’t

Long Island Child Support Lawyer

Let me help you do the hard work—whether it means finding your the other parent’s true income or paying a reduced/fair rate of child support—I am here for you. Child support can be overwhelming to navigate, and having an experienced lawyer on your side will best help to resolve those concerns.

To learn more use the “quick links” listed below to navigate to the corresponding information lower on the page.

Get Skillful, Experienced, and Effective Representation

Expertise and Empathy to Individuals and Families in need of legal assistance. Give me a call, or text message me at (631) 664-0000—or submit our Free Consultation form.

What is Child Support?

Child support is money paid to the parent whom the child resides with the majority of the time. New York State Child Support Standards Act governs and provides the child support calculation based upon the parents’ incomes, and the needs of the child(ren).

The purpose of basic child support is to assist in the general expenses of the child(ren), including a roof over their head, food on the table, and working utilities in the home. Child support pro-rata add-ons are a separate expense to assist in the child(ren)’s health care cost, childcare needs, and similar expenses.

How Does Child Support Work?

If the child(ren) reside with you for more than 51% of the time, then that parent is entitled to receive child support. Each parent is required to disclose proof of their income. And each parent’s gross income will be plugged into the statutory child support calculation to yield the payment of support (i.e. monthly, bi-weekly, weekly, etc.).

The child support calculation comes with a presumption to be the correct amount of child support; however, there are exceptions and factors that will provide deviations (both higher or lower) in monthly child support payments.

New York State Child Support

New York state child support provides a calculation with a required minimum calculation of child support and then a framework for the factors to consider for all “discretionary” income above the cap.

How Is Child Support Determined?

The basic application of child support takes the combined parental income multiplied by the percentage of applicable children. For example, one child is 17%, two 25%, three 29%, four 31%, five+ 35%.

Is Child Support Mandatory in Divorce?

Two parents can agree to waive a basic right of child support (however, a $25.00 per month is a requirement that cannot be waived), so long as there is a detailed explanation outlining the other ways that the parents plan to address caring for the child(ren)’s needs.

A court will rarely object to two parents’ contractual agreement with regards to child support obligations, so long as it complies with statutory requirements and reasons explaining the deviation from the mandatory amounts of child support.

Art Deco style divider

Joint Custody Child Support

Often I get asked, “Who pays child support in 50/50 joint custody?” A recent Court of Appeals case has determined that even in circumstances where parents have an equal residential custody arrangement, the parent who is deemed the “monied” spouse shall be mandated to pay statutory child support. However, in most cases, a compromised approach of determining the income of the parties, and the needs of the children, will then assist us in calculating the child support using an equitable approach to “equalize the incomes” rather than create a disproportionate win-fall.

Father’s Rights Child Support

Father’s rights, as it relates to child support, recognizes that a non-residential Father, whom is required to pay child support, may not be required to pay monies above the statutory cap.

A Father, or parent, who pays child support is not required to pay additional monies for clothes, or school books, or general items for the child. The statutory required expenses include: basic child support, pro-rata add-ons for medical health insurance premiums, unreimbursed co-pay expenses, childcare when it’s reasonable and necessary, and educational expenses in some circumstances. This does not include extracurricular activities, school field trips, cell phone expenses, or most similar expenses.

What Questions Are Asked in a Child Support Hearing?

A child support hearing may seem nerve wracking, but in actuality, a short list of questions will often answer most of the court’s concerns. The answers to these inquiries will often provide all that is needed to determine the child support figures. For example:

  • What are the gross annual incomes of each parent? Or what is each parent’s ability to earn an anticipated gross income?
  • What are the needs of the child(ren)?
  • What are the lifestyle expenses associated with each parent, and the child(ren)?
  • Who provides the medical insurance for the child(ren)?
  • How are the expenses of the child(ren) paid pursuant to past practice?

How Often Can Child Support Be Modified?

The parent receiving or paying child support can request a modification, upward or downward, every three years since the previous court order, when either parent’s income has gone up or down by 15%, or in the event of a substantial change in circumstance since the time of the previous court order.

Art Deco style divider

When Does Child Support Start?

Child support starts on the date in which it is formally requested through Family Court or Supreme Court; or upon the date in which it is formally agreed to between the parents.

When Does Child Support End?

The most common emancipation event is turning 21 years old. However, if prior to age 21, the child does not reside with either parent (excluding while away at college), then child support would end. Additionally, if the child is working full-time, enrolled in the military, or married, then that child will also be deemed emancipated for child support purposes.

Is Child Support Taxable?

Child support is not taxable nor tax deductible.

How to Collect Back Child Support

In order to collect back child support, known as child support arrears, you may file a court action. Your remedy is requesting for the non-paying spouse to be held in contempt of court for non-payment.

After an adjudication of contempt, a court may incarcerate the non-payor spouse or take away his/her driver’s license until the back child support is paid in full. A judge may also direct for child support to come directly to you from the paying spouse’s paycheck through his/her employer.

Get an Experienced & Skilled Attorney to Help You Navigate New York State’s Child Support Laws

You’ll want a skilled child support advocate to assist you with any and all child support applications. When requesting child support, it’s essential to know how to find and calculate all possible income from the other parent. When defending against a request for child support, it’s important to advocate for any and all credits due in your favor.

I offer a free consultation so we can talk without cost or obligation. I will thoroughly explain your rights and the remedies available to you as it relates to your child support concerns. Contact me today to discover how I can help you with your child support needs.

Very truly yours,
Samantha R. Gellman-Carollo, Esq.