Whether you’re seeking to establish a new child support order or looking to have your child support order modified, you want to make sure that the child support amount is accurate according to New York law. Generally, parents pay a percentage of their income in child support. However, there are deductions and special circumstances to be aware of.
While you might like to assume that the courts always get it right, the truth is that sometimes the courts need to see the evidence. Sometimes, they may not be aware of special circumstances such as special needs or special educational needs of the child. They might not be aware that one party is trying to hide income or their true earning potential from the court. In some cases, the court may simply make a computational error. Whatever the circumstances in your case, your Bronx child support lawyers can help you show the court the truth.
An experienced team of Bronx child support lawyers knows what goes into the child support formula. That allows them to go over every part of the calculation in your case in order to make sure that the state’s case manager didn’t overlook anything or make mistakes. For example, the state should take most types of income into account. There are some exceptions for means-tested public aid, but generally, bonus pay, disability pay, annuities, veteran’s benefits and other similar types of payments all count as income.
Child support is a percentage of your gross income minus allowable deductions. Your Bronx child support lawyers should review your case to make sure that the court properly applied deductions to each side. They should make deductions for mandatory FICA taxes. They should also take a deduction for child support paid as part of another case. In addition, if you pay court-ordered spousal support, that’s deductible too.
In cases where parents have a combined gross income of $143,000 or more, some special exceptions may apply. The court may strictly apply the formula. However, in high-income cases, they don’t have to. Instead, they’re able to take evidence from both sides about the children’s needs. They can order an amount that they think is fair.
The reasoning is that at some point, a child’s needs are met. A child doesn’t have a right to continue to dip into their parent’s pocket for an unlimited amount of money. As the courts like to say, no child needs more than three ponies. While the courts believe that children should benefit from a parent’s success, they also believe that a child deserves no more than their reasonable needs based on the standard of living of the parents. If you have a high income case, it is very important to work with your lawyers to carefully present evidence to the court so that they can make a proper determination.
One common area of contention in New York child support cases is what happens when the parties have joint custody. Joint custody is more popular than ever before. Anymore, it’s uncommon to have a custody situation where one parent spends no time with the child. Parents might wonder what happens to child support in the event that one of the parents has significant time with the child.
New York law doesn’t clearly answer the question. The court has the option to take the time split into account. However, there’s no automatic rule for giving the paying parent relief when they spend significant time with the children. Instead, it’s up to the paying parent to show that they cover a significant amount of the child’s expenses because of the time that the child spends with them. This is a fact-specific question, so the parent must work with their lawyer to present the evidence to the court. This is done by showing the court how the parent who receives support pays less in food, utilities, extracurricular expenses, entertainment expenses and the like because of the other parent’s time with the children.
As life goes on, things can change. You might lose your job. The other parent might get a raise. There are times that you may want to go back to the court to ask for an adjustment of child support. When that happens, you must be able to show the court that the circumstances have changed.
You can work with your attorney to ask the court for a change in support. In some cases, you might work with your attorney to gather evidence of the other parent’s financial situation. If they’re working for cash under the table or they choose not to earn everything that they can, you can gather evidence and point this out to the court.
At each stage in your case, your attorney can help you make sure you take the proper steps to advocate for your best interests. Courts look at the evidence when they make their decisions. It’s often not enough to just tell the court that you suspect the other side has something to hide.
Instead, your attorney can work with you to gather the evidence that the court needs to see. That way, you can help the court come to the correct result. Your attorney can review your case carefully. They can help you understand New York’s child support laws and advocate for the best result for you and for your children.