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What are Decisions To Be Made On Child Support?

When two people create new life together, they share responsibilities for that life. This means not just taking care of the child’s emotional and psychological needs, but also ensuring that the child has financial stability as well. The beginning of all child support issues start with the concept of custody. What kind of custody will each parent have? Depending on the answer to this question, the financial arrangements will vary.

– Sole custody: One parent has both legal and physical control of the child or children
– Joint legal custody: Both parents will be able to make legal decisions regarding the child. They share in this responsibility.
– Joint physical custody: Both parents have split time with children during the year. They can work out these arrangements in different ways but they will share time equally if that’s what they choose.

Depending on which type of custody the court awards, child support issues will then vary. For example, in joint physical custody situations, there is often the agreement that child support (financial support for the child) will be shared during the child’s physical time with each parent, but there will not be a “child support” payment made by either parent. However, if one parent is awarded sole custody, they’re likely going to ask for child support payments by the parent who does not have custody but instead visitation (an arrangement where the child might spend two weekends or more a month with the non-custodial parent). Child support lawyers often look at the custodial arrangements to decide what to ask for regarding child support, if child support is warranted at all.

Amount of Child Support

SPODEK LAW GROUP has been working on child support cases for the last 40+ years, so we definitely have seen thousands and thousands of child support cases during our time practicing law. We have a firm grasp of child support laws in our practicing state, so rest assured we’re going to get the maximum amount of child support for you that we possibly can ask for. We don’t make mistakes in this area. It’s too important. Your child needs to have a high quality of life, and if the non-custodial parent doesn’t pay their fair share, it’s the child who suffers.

The amount of child support you should receive is determined by something called the Child Support Standards Act. It is income-based on the non-custodial parent’s income, so we feel that it’s a fair standard. In addition to determining the amount, we also need to decide when the payments need to be made and if any other financial needs of the child should be taken into consideration (such as extracurricular expenses for things like sports). Cost of living will also come into play over the years as the child grows and times change. Everything begins by looking at income.

Gross income is usually the firm thing looked at. What does the non-custodial parent make a year? And what things does the court allow them to deduct in relation to that income so that the income then becomes lower (thus making the child support lower, too?). Deductions include the local taxes paid in New York City that come straight out of that income so that the non-custodial parent doesn’t benefit from that amount of their income. Does the non-custodial parent also have other children that they’re paying child support on? That might also be taken into consideration. The amount after all the deductions is called the Adjusted Gross Income, and that’s the number from the non-custodial parent that will then be figured in with the “Pro-rate” amount of income (percentage of total income each party makes per year). Mediators and lawyers are infinitely helpful during the calculation phase, as this process can become very stressful and difficult for both parties.

Doing The Math

The combined parental income is the final outcome of all this math. It’s a very complicated formula that only your lawyer should explain to you in person, but for your peace of mind, here’s how all of this works out (once again, don’t do this math yourself!). Only a lawyer can tell you exactly what you should ask for from the courts. In the end, you’ll take the combined parental income and the pro-rate share of child support by multiplying the amount by:

– 17% for one child
– 25% for two children
– 29% for three children
– 31% for four children
– 35% for five or more children

In New York, 21 is the age of emancipated, but this age can increase even further if both parents agree. For example, some non-custodial parents don’t mind to pay child support until a milestone like marriage or graduation from college, while others fight this type of arrangement. That’s where your handy child support lawyer comes into play. Child support is one of the most contentious parts of child support law. Don’t go it alone. Only a great lawyer can handle this type of thing for you. As you’ve seen, it’s sometimes infinitely confusing and if you ask the court for too much or too little child support, you’re doing a disservice to the children that you love so very much.


SPODEK LAW GROUP has been in existence since 1976. Over that time, we’ve seen just about every child support scenario imaginable and we’ve been around to see the changes in New York law as they come to pass. Our combined experience is as outstanding as our track record for winning child support cases for our clients, and we don’t mind to present you with our proven track record if you want to see it. We hope it will instill in you the confidence in us that you need to hire us for the job. It’s our life’s work to win child support battles for our clients, no matter how tough or uphill the battle might seem. We love seeing the look on our clients faces when we win those cases and help them do what’s best for their beloved children, and one of our sayings is that you’re OUR family during the time you trust us with your legal matters. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.

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