Common Questions About Child Support
While many parents live together to raise their child and share expenses, relationships don’t always work out. In that case, a non-custodial parent may be required to pay child support. Child support covers expenses like food, clothing, shelter and more. However, medical costs, medical insurance, child care and some educational costs are expenses that are in addition to child support.
Although most people are familiar with the concept of child support, they often have questions about how it works. Here are some of the most common questions about child support in New York.
How long does child support last? In New York, child support ends at age 21. While 18 is the age of majority for custody and visitation, the non-custodial parent may be required to pay until the child reaches age 21. However, there are exceptions, such as when a child becomes emancipated. For instance, you can agree to extend the age of emancipation provided both parties consent. In instances where you care for a dependent child, child support can now be extended to 26.
How is child support calculated? Child support is calculated according to both parents’ incomes and the number of children they’re supporting. If their income is at or below a certain threshold, they will apply a simple formula to calculate support. If their income is above the threshold known as the “cap”, they can use the court formula up to the threshold, then use discretion for the amount over the threshold. In most cases, the courts will award support over the cap and the amount over will vary case by case.
What happens if you don’t have income? If you’re voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, the court will likely impute your income—that is, look at your wage history and see what you could be earning. Otherwise, they’ll look at all sources of income, including certain benefits, to calculate support.
What happens if you lose your job? If you lose your job or otherwise suffer financial changes, you can petition the court to modify your child support agreement. However, you will not get support reduced solely from job loss. You will need to prove the diligent efforts to find comparable employment. When you become reemployed, child support will then increase.
Can you agree to a different child support arrangement? Yes, you can include a different agreement in your separation agreement or divorce settlement, as long as both parties agree and specify why you are “opting out” of the statutory formula for child support.
For more help with child support questions, reach out to the experienced child custody lawyers at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP today.