Chester, NY Child Support Lawyer Protects Your Child’s Rights

Orange County attorney pursues fair outcomes for paying and recipient parents

Every child in New York is entitled to support from both parents. That’s not just a sentiment; it’s the law. Unfortunately, disputes often arise over how much child support is necessary or appropriate given the parents’ situations. At Meth Law Offices, PC, I am a Chester, New York child support attorney who offers comprehensive counsel for Hudson Valley clients in all types of child support matters.  

How are child support payments calculated in New York?                  

Under New York law, a parent who has custody of children can request support from a noncustodial parent. This request often comes during divorce proceedings, but if the parents have never been married, the court can order child support after paternity has been established.

New York uses the income shares model to determine child support for combined parental income up to $154,000. This means that the court adds the income of both parents (minus allowable deductions) to calculate the total gross income. Of this amount, the state guidelines call for the parents to dedicate the following percentages to the support of their children:

  • 17 percent of the combined parental income for one child
  • 25 percent of the combined parental income for two children
  • 29 percent of the combined parental income for three children
  • 31 percent of the combined parental income for four children
  • No less than 35 percent of the combined parental income for five

This gives the presumptive amount of total support, which the court apportions according to each parent’s share of the gross income.

For example, if the gross income is $100,000 and the couple has three children, annual support would be $29,000. If the noncustodial parent makes 75 percent of the couple’s gross income, the obligation would be $21,750 annually or $1,812.50 per month.

Typical issues that impact child support in Orange County

Several factors can lead a court to raise or lower the presumptive support obligation. If the parents share custody, the paying parent would pay less to the recipient parent. Other considerations could include:

  • Daycare expenses
  • Children’s health insurance
  • Special needs
  • Enrichment activities
  • Private school tuition
  • Summer camp expenses

Courts generally try to maintain the standard of living the children would have enjoyed had the family had remained intact.

When does child support end in NY?                  

Under New York law, child support lasts until a son or daughter reaches 21 years of age, has become self-supporting or has joined the military. A child whom the court declares emancipated no longer warrants child support.

Can child support orders be modified after divorce?

After the court issues an order, circumstances can change substantially, making a modification of the order appropriate. Circumstances that could justify a new order include:

  • A parent’s long-term unemployment
  • A parent’s illness or disability
  • A child’s illness or disability       

Parents should not rely on informal agreements if circumstances shift, because the existing order remains in force until the court formally changes it. As an experienced Chester family law attorney, I can help you petition for a modification or oppose a requested adjustment.                                        

Firm handles child support collection matters

New York has many enforcement mechanisms in place to help recipient parents collect overdue child support, even across state lines. A court can order:

  • Wages garnished
  • Tax refunds and lottery winnings intercepted
  • Professional licenses and driver’s licenses suspended

A paying parent who willfully refuses to pay is also liable for fines and jail time for contempt of court. If your payments are missing or late, I can help.

Contact a Chester, New York family law attorney for a free initial consultation

Meth Law Offices, PC represents Hudson Valley clients in child custody matters. Please call 845-610-6595 or contact me online for a free initial consultation. My office is conveniently located at 10 Moffatt Lane, in Chester.