Who Must Pay Child Support on Long Island?
On Long Island, both parents have a legal responsibility to financially support their child. The parent with whom the child lives is known as the “custodial parent”. The parent who does not live with the child is known as a “non-custodial parent”. A non-custodial parent must provide financial assistance for the support of his or her child even though he or she does not live with the child. This is true even in cases where a child spends equal time with both parents. In such cases, if the non-custodial parent is the higher earning parent, he or she may have an obligation to pay child support to the custodial parent for the care of the child.
How is the Amount of Child Support Determined?
Long Island courts are governed by New York state law, which uses a formula to determine the child support obligation. That formula is generally as follows:
- 17% of the parent’s gross income for 1 child
- 25% of the parent’s gross income for 2 children
- 29% of the parent’s gross income for 3 children
- 31% of the parent’s gross income for 4 children
- 35% or more of the parent’s gross income for 5 children
Some non-custodial parents are also responsible for covering a certain percentage of medical, educational, and child care expenses. This percentage will be determined based upon the income of the non-custodial parent. Usually these costs are split up proportionally based upon how much each parent earns.
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Can I Modify a Child Support Order?
A child support order can be modified only if there is a significant change in circumstances. A significant change in circumstances usually means a large increase or a large decrease in income. A court can also modify the award if at least three years have passed since the award was ordered or modified, and there has been a 15% or greater change in either spouse’s income. The party seeking the modification would need to petition the court and ask for the court to change it.
What if the Custodial Parent Refuses to Allow Me to Visit With My Child?
Visitation and child support are separate issues, and a custodial parent cannot violate a court’s order to allow visitation. It is best to seek recourse in the court, such as by having a visitation order enforced or simply by asking the court for a visitation order if you do not have one.
If the Non-Custodial Parent Refuses to Pay Child Support, Can I Prevent Him or Her from Seeing My Child?
As stated above, New York State treats visitation and child support as separate issues. If you are not getting the child support that is owed to you, you should seek the advice of an experienced Long Island child support lawyer or family law attorney to go through your options.
How Do I Protect My Children’s Future?
To ensure your children are financially protected, speak to one of our experienced Family Law Attorneys. Our attorneys are experienced in all aspects of child support and family law in New York State, and have helped many Long Island clients with their child support concerns. Contact our friendly Clients Services Director today at 631-923-1910 to schedule your free consultation.
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