How Is Child Support & Alimony Calculated In New York?

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1 How Is Child Support & Alimony Calculated In New York? For purposes of child support, either parent can be named the custodial parent by a Court. For the purposes of this article we will assume that the mother is the custodial parent and will be receiving the child support and alimony payments. However, fathers who have custody can also use this as a guide. How do I apply for child support? Usually, you ask for child support in Family Court in the county where you and the child live. You can also go for child support in the county where the father lives. You are not required to have a lawyer to apply for child support but it is recommended that you consult with a divorce attorney prior to filing for support. How is the dollar amount of child support calculated? The Child Support Standard Act (CSSA) is the law in NYS and tells the amount of child support the father must pay. The CSSA applies to parental income up to a maximum of $141,000 (2015 limit) and the Court can apply it to income in excess of $141,000 based on certain factors. Examples of these factors are: the financial ability of the father, the lifestyle the child would have enjoyed if the parents stayed living together, and any special needs the child may have. The maximum can be adjusted periodically by the New York State legislature. The amount you get depends on what the father s income is, what your income is, how many children you have together, and what your children s basic needs are. The Support Magistrate will look at the information in your financial disclosure affidavit and the father s financial disclosure affidavit, if he supplies one. The Support Magistrate might also ask you and the father to answer questions. And you and he might be asked to give the Support Magistrate other evidence of your income and expenses, such as a paystub or a W 2 statement.

2 Both parents incomes are used to figure out how much child support the father has to pay because both parents have to support their children. This is how it is calculated: Deduct (subtract) these things from each parent s income: spousal maintenance paid to a former husband or wife by court order child support paid to other children by court order public assistance and supplemental security income (SSI) city taxes social security and Medicare taxes (FICA) Combine (add) the incomes of both parents after making those deductions, and multiply the total you get by the correct percentage: 17% for one child 25% for two children 29% for three children 31% for four children Not less than 35% for five children or more Divide the figure you get between both parents according to both your incomes (on a pro rata basis). This means that if the father earns twice as much as you, he must pay twice as much child support. The father may also have to pay additional amounts for: child care, if you are working or going to school. medical care not covered by insurance the child s educational expenses The parent who has health insurance must also (if reasonable) continue providing health insurance for your children. The cost of providing health insurance will be shared between yourself and the father, in proportion to your respective incomes. If neither of you has health insurance, the court will order the custodial parent (the parent with the greatest amount of custody) to apply for the state s child health insurance plan.

3 When do child support payments stop? Child support payments typically end when the child reaches age 21 or becomes emancipated. Emancipation means a child is living separately and independently from a parent, or is self supporting. Some things that show that a child is emancipated are: Child has completed 4 years of college education Child has gotten married Child is living away from home (except for living at school or college) Child has gone into the military Child is 17 years old and working full time (except for summer vacation jobs) Child willingly and fro no good reason has ended the relationship with both parents In New York, alimony is referred to in three different ways: as alimony, spousal support, and maintenance. Temporary maintenance is an order that one spouse must financially support the other while the divorce is being finalized. Once the divorce is finalized, the temporary maintenance stops and the judge decides whether permanent alimony is appropriate. How is the amount of alimony payments determined? Unlike child support payments there really are no set guidelines for the amount and duration of alimony payments. To decide whether spousal support is appropriate, the judge will look at the needs of the spouse asking for support and whether the other spouse has the financial ability to provide financial help. For example, if your income is lower than your spouse s but you are able to support yourself, you may not be entitled to alimony. The court will also look at other factors when making a decision about support: the length of the marriage each spouse s age and health status

4 each spouse s present and future earning capacity the need of one spouse to incur education or training expenses whether the spouse seeking maintenance is able to become self supporting whether caring for children inhibited one spouse s earning capacity equitable distribution of marital property, and the contributions that one spouse has made as a homemaker in order to help enhance the other spouse s earning capacity. The court will also look to see whether the acts of one spouse have inhibited or continue to inhibit the other spouse s earning capacity or ability to obtain employment. The most common example of this would be domestic violence. If one spouse s abuse of the other affected that abused spouse s ability to maintain or to get a job, the court might consider those actions in making its order. Disclosure: The information listed above is for educational purposes only. Greenbush Financial Group, LLC does not provide legal advice. For legal advice, please consult your attorney. About Greenbush Financial Group Greenbush Financial Group, LLC is an independent registered investment advisory firm located near Albany, NY. The firm offers employer sponsored retirement plans, fee based financial planning, and investment management services. Investment Advisory Services offered through Greenbush Financial Group, LLC. Greenbush Financial Group, LLC is a Registered Investment Advisor. Securities offered through American Portfolio Financial Services, Inc. (APFS). Member FINRA/SIPC. Greenbush Financial Group, LLC is not affiliated with APFS. APFS is not affiliated with any other named business entity. This material is for informational purposes only. Neither APFS nor its Representatives provide tax, legal or accounting advice. Please consult your own tax, legal or accounting professional before making any decisions. Michael Ruger is a registered representative with American Portfolio Financial Services, Inc. Information in this illustration has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable and are subject to change without notification. The information presented is provided for informational purposes only and not to be construed as a recommendation or solicitation. Investors must make their own determination as to the appropriateness of an investment or strategy based on their specific investment objectives, financial status, and risk tolerance. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Investments involve risk and the possible loss of principal. Any opinions expressed in this discussion are not opinions or views of American Portfolio Financial Services, Inc. (APFS) or Greenbush Financial Group, LLC. Options expressed are those of the writer only. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform

5 a nondiversified portfolio. Diversification does not ensure against market risk. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investments may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.

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