As anyone who has a child knows, raising kids is expensive. Trying to provide for your children with only one source of income means it is much harder to ensure their needs are met. To make sure children have everything they need after their parents get divorced, the courts usually order the parent who does not have custody of any minor children to pay child support to the parent who has custody. But how do you know that what you receive in child support is enough to provide for your children?
In New York, specific laws set the minimum amount a former spouse is required to pay in child support. Being aware of these laws is vital to ensure your children have everything they need after a divorce. The minimum child support a noncustodial parent with an income below the federal poverty level may be required to pay is $25.00 per month.
If you want to know more about child support minimums in New York and how they may apply to your situation, keep reading or contact the New York child support attorneys at The Mandel Law Firm.
The Basics of New York’s Child Support Laws
According to the New York courts’ website, both parents are required to support their kids until they turn 21. Child support payments are meant to make sure minor children have their essential needs met, such as food, clothing, a place to live, and so on. Child support is also meant to help offset other costs such as healthcare expenses, childcare, etc.
When you file for divorce, you and your spouse can try to agree on child support payments on your own. A judge still needs to approve any agreement you reach. If you and your spouse cannot agree on child support payments, it is up to the courts to figure out how much the spouse who does not have custody will pay.
How New York Courts Calculate Child Support Payments
The formula the courts use to determine child support payments is primarily based on each spouse’s income, though sometimes other factors are considered. The baseline amount the courts can order a spouse to pay in child support, known as the “basic child support obligation,” is calculated by adding up the combined income of both parents (excluding certain deductions) and multiplying that number by a percentage.
In this context, “income” is more than a spouse’s wages or salary and can include unemployment benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, Social Security benefits, disability benefits, pensions, retirement accounts, and so on. Also, New York law sets a cap on the combined income used to calculate child support payments. As of 2022, the cap is $163,000.
Once the courts have added up the income of both spouses, the percentage used to determine the basic child support obligation depends on how many minor children are involved in the divorce. The specific percentage amounts are:
- One child – 17 percent of the spouses’ combined income
- Two children – 25 percent of the spouses’ combined income
- Three children – 29 percent of the spouses’ combined income
- Four children – 31 percent of the spouses’ combined income
- Five or more children – No less than 35 percent of the spouses’ combined income
In some instances, the courts may decide the basic child support obligation is not enough to meet the children’s needs and increase the amount of child support. Alternatively, if the basic child support obligation would leave the noncustodial parent without sufficient resources to take care of themselves, the courts can reduce the amount of child support.
A New York City Child Support Lawyer Can Help Protect Your Rights
Whether you are a parent with custody of young children after a divorce or the parent without custody, the New York child support attorneys at The Mandel Law Firm will protect your rights and work to get the outcome you desire. Call us today at (646) 770-3868 or visit our contact page for a consultation.