Any couple that goes through a divorce has to deal with many issues, but those that have children usually go through even more acrimony when dealing with custody and support for their children. Child support is financial support provided by the noncustodial parent. Child support includes, cash payments (based on the parent's income and the needs of the child), health insurance for the child, payments for child care, and payments for reasonable health care costs that are not covered by health insurance. Family Court determines the amount of child support the noncustodial parent will pay. Under New York State law, parents are responsible for supporting their child until the child is 21 years old.
There are guidelines in which the court uses to determine the amount of child support that is owed to the custodial parent, based on the noncustodial parent's adjusted gross income and on the number of children involved. The court first determines the noncustodial parent's gross income. The court then multiplies the adjusted gross income by the standard guideline percentage for the number of children. These percentages are as follows:
• 17% for one child
• 25% for two children
• 29% for three children
• 31% for four children
• at least 35% for five or more children.
Then the noncustodial parent's share of child care, medical, and educational expenses is added to the income percentage amount. The combined amount, percentage of income plus share of expenses, is the basic child support amount.
For incomes over $130,000, the court determines whether or not to use the percentage guidelines and may consider other factors in setting the full child support payment.
The main problem that many noncustodial parents have an issue with is that many fill out long and tedious expense forms and when it comes time to determine the monthly the courts do not take into consideration the expenses of the noncustodial parent. If you cannot pay your child support you can file a "petition for modification" with the court that issued the support order. Only the court can change what you owe. Just because you think you cannot pay, do not stop paying. Continue to pay what you can while you wait for the court to make a decision. You should know that the court will only change the amount of support you need to pay if there has been a ‘substantial change’ in your ability to pay.
Dealing with child support and child custody it can be very emotional, remember that in the end you want what is best for your children.