Syracuse Child Support Laws
In the State of New York, this regulation takes the form of New York Family Court Act §413, also known as the Child Support Standards Act. The regulations are also found in DRL section 240 for parents who are determining child support obligations during a divorce proceeding.
To calculate an appropriate child support amount, both parents’ incomes are combined. The final amount is calculated using a percentage of each parent’s total adjusted gross income.
The formula also takes into consideration several non-economic factors, such as:
- The amount of time the child spends with each parent
- Additional sources of income for each parent, such as investments
- Number of children each parent supports in their respective households
- Any other child support payments received or paid for children from another relationship
- Extraordinary uninsured medical costs
In some cases, parents may agree on an amount that differs from the New York state guidelines. This is called a ‘deviation’ from the statutory child support obligation. In such a scenario, the court will ascertain whether the agreement is fair and reasonable, as well as if there is a proper basis for the deviation, prior to final approval and issuing an order.
In all cases, parents are required to ensure that their children have health insurance, either through their employer, if it is available at a reasonable cost, or if none is available or its too high a cost, then through the health insurance marketplace or sometimes state-sponsored programs.
Violating a Child Support Order
Neglecting to pay a child support obligation carries serious potential consequences. Once the receiving parent reports non-payment to the court and/or the appropriate state authorities, the enforcement actions by a child support enforcement unit usually take swift action.
Even if the non-paying parent resides in another state, serious penalties may be imposed across state lines. 18 U.S.C. §228 makes it a federal offense to deliberately fail to pay a minimum of $5,000 in child support.
Some of the possible penalties for failure to pay child support include wage garnishment, suspension or non-renewal of a driver’s license, intercepting tax refunds, placing a lien on bank accounts, suspension of a professional license such as a nursing license or realtor license, a hold can be placed on your passport so that you might not be able to travel, and even arrest and incarceration.
Modification and Termination of Child Support
Child support orders may be modified if there is a substantial change in the circumstances of your child or either parent. A reduction might be ordered because of a parent’s loss of employment, reduced income, or an injury. Conversely, the award may be increased if the non-custodial parent has increased income due to a promotion or job change.
Child support typically terminates when a child turns twenty-one and is not in school. This is called “emancipation,” and it means the child is no longer financially dependent on the parents. Sometimes child support orders contain language that specifies when the obligation terminates. In many cases, filing a petition in court will be necessary to officially terminate support.