Heidi E. Opinsky

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Calculating Child Support In New York

During a moderate or high net worth divorce, many variables must be taken into account when calculating child support, making it an extremely complicated process.

With more than 30 years of legal experience, attorney Heidi E. Opinsky understands the nuances and complexities of child support law. Indeed, Ms. Opinsky and her divorce firm can help you address virtually any child support-related concern, including the establishment of an initial child support order, the enforcement of an order already in place or the modification of child support payments.

Whether you need assistance with child support in Connecticut or New York, Ms. Opinsky and her team will work tirelessly to exceed your expectations.

Child Support In Connecticut And New York

Calculating child support in New York can be extremely complex. First, the court must determine the parents’ basic child support obligation, which is calculated by multiplying the combined gross incomes of the parents by a predetermined percentage based on the number of children involved. In New York, these percentages are as follows:

  • One child, 17 percent of combined income
  • Two children, 25 percent of combined income
  • Three children, 29 percent of combined income
  • Four children, 31 percent of combined income
  • Five children or more, no less than 35 percent of combined income

Once this calculation is completed, the noncustodial parent will be ordered to pay child support equal to his or her pro rata share of the basic child support obligation.

For example, imagine two parents who each have gross annual incomes of $70,000 after New York City taxes, making their combined income $140,000. If they have two children, their basic child support obligation will be $35,000 (25 percent of $140,000). Thus, the noncustodial parent’s pro rata share would be $17,500 ― half of $35,000. This would work out to roughly $1,458 a month. This is a very simple illustration, however, and should not be considered legal advice. Indeed, you should always speak to an experienced attorney if you have questions regarding child support.

It is also crucial to mention that this calculation can change drastically if the parents have significantly high incomes. In fact, when the total combined income of the parents exceeds $141,000, New York courts have discretion to depart from the percentages listed above, but only in regard to the portion of income above $141,000. This issue often arises during moderate and high net worth divorces and can further complicate child support determinations.

In addition to the calculation of general support payments, there are calculations and additional child support payments that are generally prorated or allocated between the parents related to health care, education and child care.

Can Child Support Be Modified?

In New York, a parent may request a modification of child support in three situations: when a substantial change of circumstances has occurred, when three years have passed since the child support order was put in place and when either parent has experienced a 15 percent increase or decrease in income.

Seek Legal Guidance If You Have Child Support Questions Or Concerns

When affluent and high-income couples decide to divorce, it is important that they speak to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can help explain the intricacies of high net worth divorce, including child support. Contact divorce lawyer Heidi E. Opinsky today to discuss your legal concerns. With offices in both New York City and Stamford, Connecticut, she assists clients throughout Greater New York and the surrounding areas, including Manhattan, Greenwich and Westport. You can reach her online or by calling 203-653-3542.