Child Support

In the simplest of terms, Child Support is the amount of money the non-custodial parent pays to the custodial parents for the care and support of the parties’ minor children. Child Support in New York State is based upon a statutory formula in the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) whereby the parties’ combined incomes (up to $136,000) and the number of children determines the amount of the support obligation.  What seems like an easy calculation can quickly become complex where someone with the legal knowledge and negotiation skills are crucial to ensure your rights are protected.

There are a number of factors and add-ons that the Court takes into account when determining the appropriate child support amount.  For example, ask yourself a very basic question: What is my income?

When asked, most people say the amount of money he or she is paid in a year.  While that certainly is one answer it may not be correct when determining child support.  In addition to your yearly wages did you receive any disability payments, retirement benefits or stipends? Do you receive any fringe benefits from your employment or have a company car for instance? These are all factors that the Court takes into account when trying to establish income.

Once the correct amount of income is determined you are still only part-way to reaching a final child support obligation.  There are mandatory add-ons to child support in the form of health insurance benefits and day care expenses.

Additionally, there are optional expenses and add-ons the Court may factor in.  Such as are there any extracurricular activities or private school tuitions for the child? Or does the child have special needs care for health or education?  And the most frequently asked question: Who pays for college?

It is questions like these that make a seemingly simple calculation become confusing and complex.  It is imperative to have a skilled and knowledgeable attorney advocating to protect your interest.

For more information please contact Ross S. Gelber at 716-632-5919 or at