Whatever the process chosen, be it mediation, litigation, collaborative law, or settlement negotiations certain decisions can be made regarding child support issues for the children. After a divorce, or pursuant to a child support application by the non-residential custodial parent whether married or not, child support is the money that will be paid to the custodial parent, as a method of helping them to pay for reasonable needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, education, health and maintenance. Sometimes, additional support is required to cover extra costs, such as extracurricular expenses, private school tuition, life insurance, college and more. There are numerous important decisions to make when it comes to understanding and arranging child support, and perhaps the first thing that needs to be considered, is how the amount will be determined.
Establishing Child Support Amount
There is a formula used by New York child support lawyers and judges which is set forth in what is called the Child Support Standards Act. The Child Support Standards Act may be found in both the New York Family Court Act and the New York Domestic Relations Law. This formula was designed to provide an insight into the amount a non-custodial parent should be required to pay for child support. The policy behind this statute was to provide standard amounts which people of a similar income should be expected to pay. The decisions that need to be made on child support can range from caps on the income considered, to when it will be paid, how extracurricular activities will be paid for, and how modifications will be made and cost of living adjustments will be dealt with. The first step is to consider each party’s gross income. Continue reading →