New York Child Support Lawyer

Legal conflicts involving family relationships can be complex and emotionally charged, especially when children are involved. If you are in a legal battle involving child support, you need a child support attorney in Manhattan you can trust. Stepanian Law Firm will help you successfully resolve your child support case and will work hard to provide the personalized, attentive service you deserve.

What is Child Support?

Child support is the financial support one parent pays to the other to help care for their minor child. Child support is meant to cover basic living expenses (housing, groceries and clothing) and ‘add-on’ expenses (extracurricular activities, sport, camp, etc.)

Who Pays Child Support?

Usually, the parent, who has residential custody of the child, will receive child support payments. The non-custodial parent, generally, will pay child support. In cases where both parents spend an equal amount of time with their child, the spouse with higher income will likely be responsible for paying child support.

For how long do I pay or receive child support?

You must pay child support in NYC until your child turns 21, or until your child becomes legally emancipated. Generally, a child is deemed emancipated when:

  1. The child is married; or

  2. The child is in the military; or

  3. The child finishes college; or

  4. The child is working full-time. This does not county summer jobs.

  5. The child permanently leaves home.

Do I have to go to Court for Child Support?

No, if both you and your spouse agree on the amount of support to be paid. But if you are worried that your Ex will make an agreement with you and then back out, you should consult with a Manhattan child support attorney.
Upon consulting with your child support attorney, they will prepare a written child support agreement, which will stand up in Court. Then, they will initiate a Court proceeding to convert your written agreement into a Court order. If after you receive a child support order from the Court and your spouse defaults in making the payments, then you can take your Order and demand for a judge to enforce it.
Additionally, if you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement about child support, then you must look to the Court to decide on your behalf. In this case, the Court uses a standard formula to calculate child support.

How is Child Support in NYC calculated?

In the interest of fairness, the Court will use a standard formula to calculate how much child support a person should pay. The amount paid is based on how much the parties earn in a year and on the number of children involved.The court first determines your gross income.

Gross Income Factors in a Divorce

Income from tax return
Net Investment Income = Income – Expenses
Voluntarily deferred income
Worker’s Compensation Benefits
Disability benefits
Unemployment insurance benefits
Social Security Benefits
Veterans Benefits
Pensions and retirement benefits
Fellowships & Stipends
Discretionary Imputed Income: Non-income producing assets; Meals, lodging, memberships, automobiles; Fringe Benefits; Money, goods or services provided by others.
Mandatory Imputed Income: Imputed earning capacity; Excess depreciation deductions; Excess travel and entertainment deduction.
Non-recurring payments: discretionary, e.g.: life insurance policy, discharging debt; recovering bad debts; gift & inheritances; lottery winnings.
Then, the Court will deduct certain items from the gross income:

Deductions from Gross Income in a Divorce
Unreimbursed employee business expenses
Alimony to non-party spouse
Alimony to party spouse if the agreement or order provides for this deduction
Child support for child not subject in this action
Public assistance
Supplemental security income
NYC or Yonkers income taxes
FICA – social security tax + Medicare tax
Upon subtracting the above deductions from the gross income, the Court will multiply the adjusted gross income by the standard guideline percentage for the number of children. These percentages are as follows:​​

Example of a Child Support Calculation in NYC


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