Child support is mandated by law and is calculated based upon a percentage of income. If both parties are employees earning income that is reported on a W-2 form at year's end, the calculation is a simple mathematical computation. Beyond that amount, the court has the discretion to apply the percentages to a higher or lesser amount.
While these calculations seem simple, they become very difficult when one party is self-employed or in a cash-based business. In such a situation, the court will try to determine a party's true income in order to apply the percentages. The court is not bound by a tax return and may impute income to a party in appropriate circumstances.
Either party has the right to file a petition to modify the amount of child support if a substantial change in circumstances occurs. These circumstances could involve a loss of income for the paying parent or an increase in the needs of the child being supported.
When a parent does not pay court-ordered child support, the recipient parent can file a violation petition in family court. A judge holds a hearing to determine whether enforcement actions are warranted, including:
Ordering the Support Collection Unit (SCU) to take the payments directly from the parent's paycheck
Ordering a lump-sum payment or incremental payments on the amount owed
Suspending the parent's driver license, professional license or business license
Jailing the parent for up to six months if nonpayment is willful
In most circumstances, the obligation to pay child support in the state of New York terminates when the child turns 21 years of age. Contact Abraham & Jesselson Law Group, LLC to find an experienced child support lawyer servicing Woodmere, NY and the Nassau County area.