Westchester County Child Support Lawyer
Child support is a cash payment from one parent to the other parent, for the purpose of contributing to the expenses incurred by their shared child or children. It is important for you and your child that a fair child support order be created, and the Westchester County child support lawyers at The Law Office of Robert S. Sunshine, P.C. can help you ensure that this is the case, whether you are going through divorce or you were never married to your child’s other parent.
Who Pays Child Support?
Child support is based on the income of each parent, and is not dependent on marriage or whether or not either parent lived with the child or with the other parent at some point in the past. If both parties have roughly the same income, then the non primary custodial parent is the party responsible for paying child support. If both parents have joint custodial rights and spend the same amount of time with the child, the higher earning parent may be required to pay child support. However, if both parents have the same custodial rights and the same income, it is not likely that the court would award child support to either parent.
What is Child Support Used For?
Child support can be used for anything deemed necessary by the receiving parent. Typically, child support is used to pay for groceries, rent or mortgage payments, clothing, toys, and other day to day expenses. “Add-on” expenses can include larger-cost expenses such as school, healthcare, insurance, and child care.
How Long Does a Childcare Obligation Last?
A parent is required to pay child support until their child reaches the age of 21, or until the child is legally emancipated. However, child support obligations can change with the years. If the paying parent initially had little to no custodial rights, but later gained custodial rights, the child support obligation may also be up for modification due to the fact that that parent is now taking on more financial duties along with their custodial responsibilities. One or both parent’s financial situations may also change, and that can also have an impact on child support. Finally, a child’s needs change as they age. Add-on expenses for school or healthcare may arise, and require a modification to the original child support order.
Calculating Child Support
The amount of child support depends on the number of children to be supported and the non-custodial parent’s gross annual income before deductions. Income is multiplied by the following percentages depending on the number of children:
- One child – 17%
- Two children – 25%
- Three children – 29%
- Four children – 31%
- Five or more children – at least 35%
The result is an estimated annual support amount which is adjusted to account for deduction from gross income for Medicare and Social Security withholding (FICA) and local city taxes. Further deductions can also be made for court-ordered or agreed-on child support and spousal support. For incomes over $163,000, the court decides whether to use the guidelines or not.
These calculations create the basic support amount. Additional support can be ordered for medical support (health insurance coverage plus payments for out-of-pocket medical expenses), prorated child care expenses if the custodial parent is in school or working, and a prorated amount for the child’s education expenses.
A Westchester County Child Support Lawyer Can Help You Win Your Case
Paying parents may struggle with too-large-of large child support orders, which in turn can even limit their ability to seek better employment. Getting caught in this cycle of not having enough to get by, and not having a way out of this financial pit, is incredibly difficult. On the other hand, single parents stuck with raising a child on their own typically have it even worse: the financial responsibility placed on them for raising a child without outside assistance can feel like the weight of the world on their shoulders. But help is here. Contact The Law Office of Robert S. Sunshine, P.C. at 845-735-1300 to schedule a free consultation with a Westchester County child support attorney today.