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Child Support

Brooklyn Child Support Lawyers Seek What’s Best for You and Your Family

New York family lawyers secure fair support for your children’s need

When parents get divorced, they still want to do right by their children. However, conflicts often arise over what expenditures are necessary and even feasible. At Goldberg Sager & Associates in Brooklyn, our family law attorneys understand the tension between wanting to give your children every advantage and dealing with your financial limitations. We thoroughly examine the details of your finances to determine your available resources and to pursue a reasonable ruling grounded in those facts. When you need a Brooklyn child support lawyer, you can trust our firm to take meticulous care as we pursue the appropriate result.

Calculating child support in New York

In New York, courts determine basic child support according to statutory formulas based on the income of both parents, the number of children to be supported and the amount of time the children live with each parent. Parents with greater resources may be required to go beyond basic support and to maintain their children at the standard of living they would have enjoyed if the marriage had continued. Courts can also order a parent to pay for additional expenses related to a child’s special needs.

The first step is to determine the total net income of both parents. This is done by taking the income from all sources and deducting certain allowances. The net amount is then multiplied by a specified percentage based on the number of children to be supported, as follows:

  • One child — 17 percent
  • Two children — 25 percent
  • Three children — 29 percent
  • Four children — 31 percent
  • Five children — 35 percent

For example, if the parents together have a net income of $120,000 and must support three children, the calculation becomes:

$120,000 x 29 percent = $34,800

This is the amount both parents would be expected to spend annually raising their children.

The total support amount is then divided according to the proportion of the total income both parents earn. If Parent A is the high earner — making two-thirds of the total net income — then he or she would have to pay two-thirds of $34,800 or $23,200, or just under $2,000 a month. This amount would be adjusted up or down based on the number of overnights Parent A would have with the children.

Help with complex child support issues

Various issues can complicate a standard child support order, such as:

  • Non-custodial parent supporting other children — If the support payer has children from another relationship to support, the court may reduce the amount of support for the children of the current relationship.
  • Paternity disputes — Before an unmarried woman can demand child support, she must establish paternity, either by the father’s voluntary admission or through a court ordered test.
  • Self-employment — It may be difficult to discern the true earnings of a parent who is an independent contractor and or who owns a small business.

Our attorneys have ample experience to handle these complexities.

Modifying a child support order in Brooklyn

Either parent may petition the court for a modification of support in any of these circumstances:

  • Three years have passed since the original order.
  • There has been a substantial change in circumstances that is likely to be permanent.
  • There has been a 15 percent change in either parent’s gross income.

Common reasons to request a modification include loss of a job, getting a new job, a prolonged health issue or changes in the children’s needs.

Tax treatment of child support payments

Child support payments are neither taxable nor tax deductible. Also, only one parent can claim the children as dependents for tax purposes. This right is often negotiated as part of a divorce settlement in order to obtain the optimal tax savings.

What happens if child support is not paid?

There are many enforcement mechanisms available to one parent when the other fails to pay child support, including seizure of bank accounts, wage garnishment, suspension of a driver’s license and jail for contempt of court.

Contact our experienced Brooklyn child support attorneys

Goldberg Sager & Associates in Brooklyn negotiates fair child support orders. To schedule a consultation, call 718-514-9516 or contact us online.

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  • Brooklyn Office
    1628 Kings Highway at East 17th Street
    Brooklyn, New York 11229
    Phone: 718-645-6677