When it comes to determining child support, a court may consider different types of factors, and the primary factor is the income of the both parents. Remember however, that your income will include more than simply salary or wages. This is a misconception that parents suffer from. The court may also consider any commissions, or overtime, or tips that you earn as your income. Talk to a Westchester County family lawyer for help.

Apart from this, the court will also consider any earnings in the form of dividends, interest, investment income, or business income that you earn. Capital gains are also often considered as part of the calculation of income. Any voluntarily deferred income or compensation will also be added to the income.

Any cash benefits that you’re currently receiving, including workers’ compensation benefits, employment insurance benefits, disability benefits, Social Security benefits, and veteran’s benefits are also included. However, Supplemental Security Income benefits are not included in the calculation. Your disability benefits as well as federal government disability benefits may also both be considered.

If you are currently receiving retirement benefits or pension benefits, stipends, royalty payment and annuity payments, these may also be included as your earnings.

If you’re currently receiving fringe benefits or any type of compensation, like lodging, meals, or automobiles, which give you a certain type of economic benefit, the court may also decide to consider these as your earnings.

After the court has determined your income, certain deductions will be made, including Social Security, Medicare and New York tax to come up with your adjusted gross income. Then, the court will most likely use a formula to determine how much you should pay based on your adjusted gross earnings. In New York, it is typically calculated by multiplying your adjusted gross income by these different percentages based on how many children you are providing support for:

  • 17% for one child
  • 25% for two children
  • 29% for three children
  • 31% for four children
  • at least 35% for five or more children.

For example, if your adjusted gross earnings is $100,000, the courts may order that you pay $17,000 for one child, $25,000 for two children, $29,000 for three children, $31,000 for four children and at least $35,000 for five or more children. Of course, this is just a guideline to make calculating child support more clear, and does not always have to be used by the courts when determining how much the supporting parent should pay.

If your child support payments put you below the poverty line, then the arrangement should be reconsidered by the courts. However, that does not mean you don’t have to pay if you are not doing well financially. Even parents who are currently receiving unemployment benefits are expected to pay their child support if it has been ordered by the court.

If you are dealing with child support issues, contact an experienced Westchester County child support attorney. Speak to a Westchester County family lawyer for help understanding what amount of child support payments may be ordered in your case. Call an attorney and discuss your case.

By: Kimberly Pelesz

Family law and criminal defense attorney Kimberly A. Pelesz received a B.S. degree magna cum laude and an M.P.A. degree summa cum laude from Binghamton University. She earned her J.D. from Pace University School of Law in White Plains, where she was selected for Phi Alpha Delta. Her charitable activities include work with My Sisters’ Place in White Plains and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Humane Education Taskforce.

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