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Child support is financial support paid by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent. It pays for things like food, shelter, clothing, transportation, medical care, education, toys, and other necessities that every child needs. The goal of child support, enforced by the Child Support Standards Act, is to provide the living conditions that the child would have received had their parents not been divorced or separated. In New York, child support is a legal obligation of both parents until the child turns 21. In addition, health insurance coverage must also be provided for the child until they reach the age of 21, according to New York Courts.

How Common is Child Support?

Raising a child is not only time consuming and difficult, but expensive. Because of this, nearly half of all custodial parents have a child support agreement with their child’s noncustodial parent. Nine out of ten of those agreements are court ordered, while 10 percent are informal agreements, according to the U.S. Census. Child support is enforced by New York’s Office of Child Support Enforcement. Unfortunately, less than half of custodial parents who are owed child support receive full payments. There are actions that we can help you to take if the noncustodial parent is continuing to be delinquent in their payments, such as wage or workers’ compensation garnishment, an order to appear in court, revocation of their driver’s license, and even jail time.

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Calculating Child Support Orders

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While, as a generality, 17 percent of the noncustodial parent’s income must go towards child support if they only have one child to support (and 25 percent if they have two), the court looks at the financial situation of each parent as well. If the noncustodial parent is making below-poverty wages, or less than New York’s Self-Support Reserve level of $16,038 per year, the noncustodial parent will only be forced to pay $25 or $50 per month, respectively. Additionally, if the noncustodial and custodial parents’ income is above $143,000, the court may alter the percentage. An experienced child support attorney can help you reach a fair child support court order, whether you are the custodial or noncustodial parent. However, it should be noted that even if the custodial parent can financially provide for their child by themselves, they too are entitled to child support from the noncustodial parent.

Modification of Child Support

It is possible to alter child support, whether you are the paying parent or the custodial parent, in certain circumstances. These criteria include:

  • One or both of the parents’ incomes have increased or decreased by 15 percent in the three or more years since the court order; or
  • The noncustodial parent lost their job or became ill or disabled.

Contact a Child Support Attorney With the Colwell Law Group Today

The experienced Saratoga child support lawyers of the Colwell Law Group, LLC assist both paying and custodial clients in need of legal assistance. We encourage you to call us today at 518-631-3954.

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