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Roberta K. Feldman
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Understanding Divorce & Separation: Child Support in NY State

Determining correct child support and legal add-ons in New York State.

I’m Roberta Feldman, an attorney with Gray & Feldman in Penfield, NY. One of my jobs when I have a client come in, is to educate them. And today I am going to talk about child support. The major point is that child support in the law is paid by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent. The custodial parent is the one with whom the children reside primarily. So the other parent pays what is called the basic child support, and that is set forth in the law through percentage of that noncustodial parent’s income. So for one child, its 17%, two children 25%, three children 29%, and it goes from there up to 35%.  Now there are deviations available if the children spend substantial time with the noncustodial parent. However the law does not give us a formula reduction so that is either up to the parents to arrive at a reasonable accommodation for that or through a mediator or through the court. There is no standard deviation set forth, and it isn’t based on necessarily the standard of living that the family had prior to the separation. It is based on their incomes. And there is a cap so that if you have a very high earning parent, the percentage is capped. Today the cap is $143,000 of combined parental income.

So once you have come up with the basic child support, there is also what we call legal add-ons. So over and above the basic child support, there are certain expenses that are shared between the parents. And they’re shared either equally if their incomes are close together, or what we call pro rata based on their two incomes, and those are medical insurance, which is the incremental cost for the children’s medical insurance.  We also have uninsured medical and dental expenses, which are your co-payments, prescriptions, eye glasses, orthodontics, which are not normally covered by insurance. And then there is daycare, when you have young children, the daycare expense itself is shared between the parents. And then when the time comes, if there is college, that is also an add-on, when that time comes.

Now the complications arise, as I said, where the children may live equally with each parent. There are also sometimes difficulties in actually ascertaining the income, as not everybody has a W2, wage-earning income so it’s not always as straight forward as it appears. So any questions regarding child support that is something that I can help you with. And more information can be found at our website or by calling 585-218-8620. 

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