If you are going through a Queens, New York divorce and you have minor children from the marriage you may be wondering how much child support you will be required to pay after the divorce is final. Only experienced Queens divorce attorneys like the attorneys at Simon & Gilman, LLP can evaluate your specific circumstances and provide you with an accurate estimate of the amount of child support you will be ordered to pay in your divorce; however, there are some general guidelines that might be beneficial in the meantime.
Like most states, New York has established child support guidelines that are used when calculating the amount of support a non-custodial parent will pay in support. It is possible to deviate from the guidelines if the court is convinced there is a good reason to do so; however, as a general rule the guidelines will determine how much support is to be paid.
The New York Child support guidelines look at how much income both parents have. Certain deductions are then subtracted from your income, such as alimony or child support actually paid to a former spouse or pre-existing children. Income from both the mother and the father is combined to determine how much is available for the child's support each month.
The basic child support obligation to be paid by the non-custodial parent is usually based upon a percentage of the combined parental income, currently capped at $141,000, and multiplied by a percentage depending upon the number of children. For one child the amount is 17%, for two children 25%, for three children 29%, for four children 31% and for five or more children, the child support award will be no less than 35%. In addition to the basic child support obligation, the non-custodial parent may be obligated to pay for a portion of the child care expenses related to the custodial parent's employment or education which would lead to employment. Health care expenses for the children are apportioned between the parents based upon their combined parental income.
The non-custodial parent also may be directed to pay for educational expenses. However, if the amount of the basic child support obligation is unjust or inappropriate, the non-custodial parent's pro-rata share of the child support obligation may be determined by other factors and not by the percentages mentioned above. The parents may avoid the use of the percentages in determining the amount of child support by executing an agreement setting forth the amount of child support which they believe to be fair. An agreement determining the amount of child support in Queens must satisfy certain technical provisions of the Child Support Standards Act.
Neither parent has any obligation to support a child once the child reaches 21 years of age, absent an agreement otherwise. Child support may end before 21 years of age under certain circumstances such as the gainful employment of the child or the child's willful refusal to maintain a relationship with the noncustodial parent. To ensure that you are not ordered to pay more than you should in child support, be sure to consult with the divorce attorneys at SIMON & GILMAN, LLP early on in the divorce process.