Child support is a critical issue for many families throughout New York. Unfortunately, there are many myths floating around about child support that make it difficult for people to understand child support law. This post will discuss some top myths and set the record straight to help you better understand your rights and obligations.
Myth 1: Mutual agreement between parents can waive child support payments.
When a court orders someone to pay child support, only the court can change that obligation. As a result, you cannot waive child support payments through mutual agreement. Failing to pay court-ordered child support, regardless of any agreement between you and your child’s other parent, could lead to significant penalties.
Therefore, if you want to change a child support obligation, you must go to court. The court will then review changes in circumstances leading to your request. It will also consider the child’s best interest. Using that information, the court will determine if your child support obligation should change.
Myth 2: Child support payments end automatically when the child turns 18.
In New York, child support payments continue until your child is at least 21 or emancipated. This is because, under New York law, parents must financially support their children until they are 21 years old. Your child is considered emancipated if they are married, financially independent, or in the military.
If your child is not emancipated under New York law, you should prepare for child support payments to continue until their 21st birthday.
Myth 3: Child support payments are based on the non-custodial parent’s income.
The court will consider the non-custodial parent’s income when determining child support, but it is not the sole basis for calculating this child support. Instead, in New York, child support is a set percentage of the combined income of both parents. The percentages are as follows:
- One child: 17 percent
- Two children: 25 percent
- Three children: 29 percent
- Four children: 31 percent
- Five or more children: At least 35 percent
However, the court can deviate from the percentage formula in some instances. For example, if the child has extraordinary needs, the court could set child support at a higher rate than the percentage guideline.
Myth 4: Visitation rights can be withheld if child support payments aren’t paid.
Child support and visitation rights are separate issues. Therefore, failure to pay child support does not negate the non-custodial parent’s right to see their child. As a result, if the non-custodial parent is not allowed to see their child because of a missed child support payment, they can take legal action.
Additionally, non-custodial parents cannot withhold child support because they haven’t seen their child. This means the custodial parent can take legal action if the non-custodial parent fails to pay child support.
Myth 5: Child support payments are tax deductible.
Child support payments are not tax deductible by the parent making the payments. Additionally, they are not taxable income for the parent receiving the child support payments.
Contact a Family Law Attorney at The Mandel Law Firm Today!
Dealing with child support and custody can be stressful and overwhelming. The Mandel Law Firm’s attorneys can help reduce stress by fighting for you and your child’s best interest. Our attorneys have a track record of success handling family law cases, including child support payment cases. With our experience, we can make a substantial difference in your case.
If you are dealing with a child support case in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, or Long Island, our attorneys are ready to help. Contact us today at (646) 770-3868 to discuss your legal options during a confidential consultation.