Robert G. Smith, PLLC

The amount of child support that can be ordered

Many New York parents have experience in dealing with child support issues after they have gone through a divorce. Although child support is intended to ensure both parents fulfill their financial responsibilities to their children, some may understandably be concerned about how much they will have to pay if they are ordered to provide child support.

How much someone will be required to pay in child support depends on their gross income and what type of assistance, such as for Medicare and Social Security, they are eligible to receive. The resulting adjusted gross income will then be multiplied by the standard percentages that based on the amount of children a person has. For instance, if someone has one child, they will likely be required to pay 17 percent, and if they have five or more children, they will normally be required to pay the maximum of 35 percent of their adjusted gross income.

In addition to these standard adjusted gross income percentages, a parent will also be required to cover additional expenses for the child's medical care, education and other such necessities. If there are any child support payments dating back to the child's birth that have been not been made, these will need to be taken into account as well in many cases.

A noncustodial parent who is concerned about the child support process may wish to consult with an attorney who has experience in such matters. In addition, if a person who has obligations under an existing child support order suffers an adverse change in financial circumstances, due to unemployment or a medical emergency, it may be advisable to seek an attorney's assistance in petitioning for a modification to that order.

Source: New York State Division of Child Support Enforcement, "Noncustodial Parent Information", December 30, 2014

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