"She told me that she would not have the baby."
"We had an agreement and she knew that I was not ready for a child."
"I barely know her and I did not sign up for this."
And so are the statements that we receive regularly from soon-to-be-fathers calling to retain this firm to protect their interest in child support cases. Many a man has called to see what his options are when he suddenly finds himself in the role of the father in an unwanted pregnancy. Although the story might be a little different ("She tricked me!", "It was an accident!"), our answer is always the same: If you do not want to be the custodial parent and the mother petitions the Court for child support, you will be paying.
Child support was established in New York in order to provide for the reasonable needs of the child when the parents are no longer together. The Court does not consider the circumstances of the pregnancy when deciding the financial duty due to that custodial parent. The amount of such a duty has been well-established by statute and is determined as follows:
- The Courts determine each parent's income and then multiplies that combined number by the following:
- 17% for one child,
- 25% for two children,
- 29% for three children,
- 31% for four children,
- And no less than 35% for five or more children.
- That amount is then divided between the two parents based on the proportion of each parent's income to the total combined income.
On top of this baseline monthly/weekly amount, you could also be required to pay for a portion of daycare, schooling, extra-curricular activities and other child expenses.
Know your rights before you engage in any activities that could result in a pregnancy or it could cost you a lot more than what you bargained for. Like 17% more.