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Child Support, Long Island, NY

What You Need to Know About Child Support in New York
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Who Must Pay Child Support on Long Island?

Under New York law, every parent on Long Island has an obligation to provide for his or her children. 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.

In the event of divorce, the obligation of the non-custodial parent to support a child can be managed and enforced by the state when it becomes necessary. Child support is considered the financial support provided by a non-custodial parent for the needs of the child or children, including basic needs such as food and clothing, medical and educational expenses, child care costs and health insurance. The amount of support may be privately agreed upon between parents and caretakers, or it may be established by a Support Magistrate in Family Court in Nassau or Suffolk County.

Child Support Standards Act Sets Child Support on Long Island

Long Island courts are governed by New York state law. New York law provides a formula for calculating each parent’s financial responsibility to his or her children. The Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) takes into account the income and expenses of each parent, as well as the number of children, in order to calculate each parent’s share of child support.

Before considering factors such as medical or educational expenses, child support is determined by calculating each parent’s share of the combined parental income, and using that percentage to determine the responsibility of each party. The income calculation is based upon gross income, usually reflected in the most recent tax return, as well as other income such as disability payments, rental income and other government or employment benefits. A court may also consider other types of income such as gifts or lottery winnings in its calculation.

 

How is the Amount of Child Support Determined?

  • 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

This formula is applied to combined parental income above the poverty income guideline ($11,880 annually for a single person), and up to $143,000. If a parent’s income falls below the poverty income guideline, the minimum amount for basic child support is $300 per year. Above the $143,000 threshold, the Court will consider additional factors such as parents’ financial resources, additional needs of the child, and other factors it determines to be relevant. In circumstances where the total combined parental income amounts to over $143,000, the court may, but is not required to, use the percentages set forth by CSSA. This means that a larger percentage of income may be ordered in order to support the child because there is likely more discretionary income available in these circumstances.

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.

Retroactive Child Support in New York

Retroactive child support may also be awarded from the date that the support was demanded. Child support will not be owed retroactively from the date of the child’s birth unless a demand was made at that time.

What if Your Spouse is Under-Reporting Income?

If you are concerned that your ex makes more money than he or she is reporting, resulting in an unfair child support payment amount, it is possible that a court will look further into his or her income. A court can impute the income of a noncustodial parent if that parent is unemployed, underemployed, or reporting less than he or she is actually making.  The imputation of income mechanism may be used by the court in instances in which it appears to the court that an individual is attempting to avoid child support obligations by remaining unemployed or underemployed.

For example, a court may impute the income of the individual by evaluating that individual’s monthly expenditures. For example, if a parent shows income of $11,000.00 per year, but his expenditures amount to $30,000.00 per year, a court may impute the true income by assuming that this individual earns at least $30,000.00 annually.

I’ve been meaning to send this thank you for months. I want you to know that I appreciate all that you did for me. I know that every divorce has its challenges but mine seemed outstanding. You truly are an amazing attorney. You actually call the person back. You care. You helped me get through the worst time in my life. I will recommend you to anyone that needs an attorney that will treat you like a person. Not a dollar figure. Thank you Rob. I have my boys back. It’s because of you. You kept the peace.

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 custodial or noncustodial parent may petition the court for a modification of his child support arrangement in order to increase the amount due to increase in cost of living, or to decrease the amount due to a loss of 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.

Unpaid Child Support Can Be Collected by the State

Unpaid child support can be collected by the state in a number of ways.  The Child Support Enforcement Bureau can garnish wages from the parent’s paychecks, intercept a portion of unemployment benefits or tax refunds, and can even seize of bank accounts. Other consequences for nonpayment of child support can include contempt of court, loss of driver’s license, or even jail time if a noncustodial parent is ordered to pay but does not. A court will consider whether a noncustodial parent has truly fallen on hard times before holding the parent in contempt of court. For example, if a noncustodial parent has lost a job, incurred a large medical expense, or presents some other exceptional circumstances, the court may withhold its power to do so. However, it is important to remember that, under CSSA, this decision is entirely within the discretion of the court.

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. The family law firm of Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. handles all aspects of family law, matrimonial law, divorce and mediation. If you have concerns about your divorce, child custody, or child support matter, call 631-923-1910 today for a free consultation.

Robert is an amazing attorney who makes divorce/separation a whole lot easier to deal with. He was available by phone or email to answer any questions and always got back to me promptly. I really feel that he cares about his clients and was always honest and up front about everything. My main concern throughout everything was my kids. Robert is very knowledgeable about child custody/child support issues. He added things to my agreement that I wasn’t even thinking of and I’m very grateful for that. I would highly recommend him to anyone!!

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Robert Hornberger and Christine Verbitsky

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Darlene Iglio
Darlene Iglio
15:27 30 Jul 22
Robert has been my attorney for 14+ years. Through the years he has taken every call, and responded to every email, even when we were not dealing with an active court matter. Most recently, he, and his amazing team, did everything to see me through a lengthy and draining child support modification. His experience with Divorce, and Family Court, matters makes him extremely knowledgeable; therefore, if he doesn’t feel you can benefit from an action, he will advise you as much. He is not in this business to charge you fees just for the sake of making money. He will listen to you, take your feelings into consideration, and then take the time to explain how the Law works. The Courts do not care about your feelings but he, and his entire firm, genuinely do care about you AND work to obtain the best possible outcome! All the while, truly understanding these matters are very difficult to go through emotionally AND the financial impact they have on you. I highly recommend Robert and his firm… you will not be disappointed.
86 Godhand
86 Godhand
00:41 30 Jul 22
Mr Hornberger is an absolute amazing lawyer. He helped me on every level weather it be answering emails extremely fast, always called me back right aways and never acted frustrated towards me and my thousand questions. Mr Hornberger is extremely personable, caring and smart. I would highly highly recommend him to anyone especially someone like me who has no idea what court is going to be like. Again a great person and an even better lawyer
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Darlene Iglio
Darlene Iglio
15:27 30 Jul 22
Robert has been my attorney for 14+ years. Through the years he has taken every call, and responded to every email,... even when we were not dealing with an active court matter. Most recently, he, and his amazing team, did everything to see me through a lengthy and draining child support modification. His experience with Divorce, and Family Court, matters makes him extremely knowledgeable; therefore, if he doesn’t feel you can benefit from an action, he will advise you as much. He is not in this business to charge you fees just for the sake of making money. He will listen to you, take your feelings into consideration, and then take the time to explain how the Law works. The Courts do not care about your feelings but he, and his entire firm, genuinely do care about you AND work to obtain the best possible outcome! All the while, truly understanding these matters are very difficult to go through emotionally AND the financial impact they have on you. I highly recommend Robert and his firm… you will not be disappointed.read more
86 Godhand
86 Godhand
00:41 30 Jul 22
Mr Hornberger is an absolute amazing lawyer. He helped me on every level weather it be answering emails extremely fast,... always called me back right aways and never acted frustrated towards me and my thousand questions. Mr Hornberger is extremely personable, caring and smart. I would highly highly recommend him to anyone especially someone like me who has no idea what court is going to be like. Again a great person and an even better lawyerread more
Jenny Allen
Jenny Allen
13:26 18 Jun 22
Mr. Hornberger was so helpful to me in a recent consultation. He gave me his time generously, listened patiently,... offered clear counsel, and said I didn't actually need further legal services in a particular matter, which I really appreciated.read more
Elizabeth Martin
Elizabeth Martin
21:06 25 Jan 22
The team at Hornberger Verbitsky made me feel at ease after I retained them after a 3 year contested divorce process. I... like their approach with how they educate you on ways to get the best outcome in your divorce. Mr. Hornberger made me feel heard and was compassionate to my case while also being aggressive in the courtroom to help me get the most positive outcome. He prevented my case from having to go to trial and he closed the deal in my long drawn out emotional divorce. I was happy that I retained him and would recommend him to anyone that is going through a high conflict divorce.read more
rrezarta lekaj
rrezarta lekaj
20:47 24 Nov 21
Christine is truly the best there is. She is beyond professional, personable, genuine, extremely trusting, and has made... such a stressful and emotional time for my family and I easier to get through. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your guidance, your support, and being there every step of the way. I would highly recommend Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. to anyone that is in need for legal advice - you will be in the best hands.read more
Janine Martello D'onofrio
Janine Martello D'onofrio
21:00 02 Oct 21
Rob and Christine are the very best out there!I can not say enough about them. They both have helped me so much in... different matters throughout the last several years . They have gone over and beyond!I highly recommend this law firm !read more
Tara Tocci
Tara Tocci
20:59 17 Sep 21
I called to make an appointment for a consultation to discuss a mediated divorce, the office was fantastic with getting... me a prompt appointment. When going in all my questions were asked and I left feeling comfortable in my decision to move forward in using the Hornberger/Verbitsky office. Despite a pandemic going on the office still worked diligently to get my papers filed and my divorce complete in a timely manner. Highly recommend!read more
cristina romero
cristina romero
20:17 17 Sep 21
Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C were phenomenal in every way. Robert was very genuine, patient and professional. Walking in,... I had no idea what to expect but he went above and beyond to explain the entire process thoroughly. He guided and informed me of my rights. Patty was amazing, she answered every question I had no matter how many times I called, she was very understanding. I highly recommend Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. Even if its just for questions on how to navigate this process.read more
Kerri
Kerri
16:57 17 Sep 21
Rob and his team are by far one of the greatest! Patty is amazing and will make sure all of your questions are... addressed and responded to. Rob and his team made a very tough time in my life as simple as possible. Rob is extremely knowledgeable and very empathetic. Patty was a pleasure to work with and I would recommend this firm to anyone that needs a great divorce attorney. Thank you for all of your help!read more
Angela Thearle
Angela Thearle
00:21 07 Aug 21
Hornberger law was the best choice I made when I needed to go to family court with my ex for custody of my children.... They were there at any time when I neeeded them. Going through a custody battle can be a huge emotional rollercoaster and very painful. They helped me through it and made it less painful and heartbreaking. And I got the outcome plus more than I expectedread more
Tammy Granville
Tammy Granville
11:49 04 Jul 21
Everyone was very professional. Never had to call to get an update on my case. Someone always updated me on a regular... basis.read more
LilMissPerfct Dessie
LilMissPerfct Dessie
06:46 11 Feb 21
I am a graduate of Norland English nanny college. I thank God every day that Mr. Robert Hornberger protected my clients... in the legal ways i could not. Children are a blessing not a blender to be fought over during some silly spat!read more
Anastasia R
Anastasia R
22:45 17 Dec 20
I went to see Rob for a modification for my child custody agreement to relocate, I can honestly say that working with... Rob and Christine has been the best experience. I cannot recommend them enough I only wish I had seen them sooner. They are prompt with communication, and they are honest which I appreciate so much. They do not give you fake promises and they do their best to fight for what you want which they do amazingly well! You can tell they are passionate about what they do and care about their clients. A very important aspect of lawyer client relationship for me is an open line of communication, the anxiety of the unknown always gets the best of us. The fact they were always available whether it be phone call or email to answer any question was extremely comforting and exactly what I needed. I am not well versed with laws and regulation so knowing I had Rob and his partners there when I was unsure or conflicted was extremely needed and greatly appreciated.When it comes to family court it's never easy but having Rob and his partner by my side I felt extremely comfortable and he helped me have realistic expectations. Please TRUST HIM!! If you're looking for a lawyer (at least for my end from child custody/Family Court) don't look any further you will not be disappointed. I hope to never have to use them again but in the event I have to, they are going to be my forever first call.read more
A Google User
A Google User
15:42 16 Sep 20
I hired Robert to handle a child custody and child support matter. He was prompt and professional and was able to... achieve a result that 3 prior attorneys could not. He and his staff made a stressful situation easy. I highly recommend his office.read more
Ann Masten
Ann Masten
17:48 12 May 20
I am a paralegal in an unrelated field of law. I phoned Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. today intending to refer a client... to their office. Instead (and despite that we are the midst of the present crisis), Mr. Hornberger himself graciously accommodated my questions over the telephone, and was generous with his time and adroit in his response, saving our client a small fortune in unnecessary legal fees. I have not had any similar experience, in which counsel was so generous with his expertise, in 22+ years of interacting with prominent, local attorneys, and the client is overjoyed. Based on this experience, I would now whole -heartedly recommend this firm as trusted professionals to any client requiring a firm expert in family law and related legal issues.read more
Everett Roberts
Everett Roberts
14:30 18 Mar 20
Going through a divorce was very challenging and emotional. Searching for an attorney can be challenging as well when... you consider everything that is at stake. The choice I made to work with Rob Hornberger was surely the best choice available. His professionalism, expertise, and understanding made him and the entire team perfectly suited to achieve the outcomes I desired. Rob was always available to answer my questions and give me advice and legal considerations that affected my situation. The support I received from his staff was exemplary as well. The staff was courteous, kind, and also very professional. Thank you so much Rob and team for a worry free experience.read more
Annemarie Cusumano
Annemarie Cusumano
21:41 17 Mar 20
Being in family court especially when your children are on the line is extremely emotional and stressful but working... with Robert and Christine put me at ease and made the process as pleasant as a situation like that can be. I have a now 3 year old daughter (who is the most important person in my life) and I've been working with them for over two years since my daughter was 7 months old, the case has been up and down and through it all Rob and Christine have never given up. My original case was due to a neglect charge. Cps is not easy to work with, but Rob and Christine were vigilant and I ended up getting my daughter back within 8 months and did not have to plead guilty to the neglect. Currently I am in family court to figure out a custody agreement. They are professional, empathetic, and patient. They have always explained everything thoroughly, informed me of all my options and advised me of what my best option would be. They always respond quickly when I contact them with questions or concerns and most importantly they fight for me in court and don't give up even when things get rough. Before hiring Rob and Christine I met with other attorneys who did not make me feel confident or comfortable at all about my case, so I am very grateful to have found Rob and Christine and to be represented by such great attorneys. I highly recommend them for any family court matters and will definitely continue to use them in the future if needed.read more
Randi Gottlieb
Randi Gottlieb
18:47 03 Mar 20
Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. - Mr. Robert Hornberger and his staff are beyond professional, they quickly gave me my... consultation appointment, and helped me with an after-Divorce issue. Mr. Hornberger was empathetic and explained to me what I should expect. Mr. Hornberger was extremely professional and advised me of my options, he helped me proceed with accurate and smart decisions. I wish I had Mr. Hornberger and his highly recommended staff when I was getting divorced. I would highly recommend Robert and his staff to anyone who is getting a divorce or in need of help with situations after the divorce!read more
Rob Spielmann
Rob Spielmann
22:15 27 Feb 20
They made our process so easy. They were there to answer and help with any questions that came up. Very friendly
Ashley Hubner
Ashley Hubner
20:30 14 Feb 20
Navigating my divorce was a challenging experience to say the least, but I was supported and guided every step of the... way by my attorney, Robert. With the daunting task of hiring a divorce lawyer, I knew I would need someone with the right combination of knowledge, compassion and integrity. Robert has a strong background in family law, sincere character and direct communication to be superior to the others. He and his staff were professional and caring. I always felt I was in good hands. I highly recommend the Law Offices Hornberger and Verbitsky for the legal expertise, compassion and understanding of the many complex facets associated with divorce.read more
Thomas Livingston
Thomas Livingston
21:31 26 Jan 20
Robert and Christine are the epitome of professionalism. They helped us with the purchase of our new home. They were... efficient, dedicated, and focused on making our closing as seamless as possible.read more
Sheila Vasata
Sheila Vasata
23:35 14 Jan 20
Robert Hornberger has been a friend of mine and my family for years. He has helped us all in ways that are too... numerable to mention. I went through a divorce that I don’t think I could’ve done if I didn’t have Robert by my side. He is vivacious, motivated, knowledgeable, and has an extreme desire to succeed and excel...and he does! He goes over and above for all of his clientele. I would recommend his law firm to anybody who is looking for a Great Lawyer with integrity!read more
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