What is Child Support?
Most people maintain a general understanding of child support in the sense support refers to paying for the primary essentials related to care for a child. Food, clothing, and schooling would clearly fall under the category of essentials. Limiting child support to these commonly thought of essentials, however, would not be accurate. Child support frequently covers various other expenses related to the care of a child. Entertainment and health care costs are also taken into consideration when devising laws covering child support.
New York State Laws and Child Support
The laws of New York cover all the rules and requirements regarding child support payments. In this state, the non-custodial parent may be required to pay support until the child reaches the age of 21 unless the child is emancipated in some way.
Child Support Orders and Petitions
In family court, the judge may decree a child support order. As the name suggests, the order reflects a mandated requirement to pay child support. The order is anything but ambiguous. The amount of money required to pay as well as when and how often would be spelled out in the order.
Those in need of child support and lack an order must file a petition with the court. Doing so without the assistance of an attorney may prove regrettable. Working with an attorney who consistently handles child support petitions reduces the chances of delays and unfavorable decisions.
How is Child Support Determined in New York State?
Child support amounts are not arrived at in an arbitrary manner. Calculations are made based on a set percentage of combined income and the number of children. For one child, the percentage is 17. For two children, the percentage increases to 25. A child support calculation could work out in the following manner:
The combined income of two parents is $100,000. The two parents have one child. $17,000 is 17% of $100,000. The custodial parent earns $60,000 and the non-custodial parent earns $40,000. So, the non-custodial parent becomes obligated for 40% of $17,000. The specific dollar amount here would be $6,800.
The earning figures derive from gross income on a federal tax return. If there are questions deductions or inaccuracies on the tax return, a serious issue arises. The custodial parent’s lawyer steps in to address such things in court.
Failure to Pay Child Support
A child support order is a form of civil judgment. The judgment can be enforced in ways that a judgment from a lawsuit would be. A person who fails to pay child support may discover a lien has taken effect and money becomes automatically deducted from a paycheck. Failure to pay required child support may lead to a contempt of courtcharge. Such charges can be rather serious as fines and jail time may be levied against the parent who has not made child support payments.
The Serious Nature of Child Support
Compliance with child support orders and petitions is a serious matter that affects all parties. So, both parents should retain the best counsel to assist them in the entire process.