Child custody is often the most contentious issue couples face when they decide to end their marriage. However, once custody arrangements have been determined, child support may cause disputes between parents as their hard-earned assets are at stake. It’s a common misconception that the non-custodial parent is not liable to pay child support if their income is less than that of the custodial parent. However, that is not always the case. Please continue reading to learn how child support is handled when the custodial parent has a higher income and how an adept Rockland County Child Custody Attorney can help you today. 

How is child support determined in New York?

In New York, child custody is generally awarded to the custodial parent, meaning the non-custodial parent must provide financial support to cover the expenses related to a child’s basic needs, including housing, healthcare, transportation, education, and more. The court uses the New York Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) to calculate child support. This formula equitably distributes the financial responsibilities of raising a child among parents. The CSSA uses a combined percentage of the parent’s incomes, with a maximum of $148,000, and allocates the support between parties in proportion to each income. The percentages are as follows:

  • One child- 17%
  • Two children-35%
  • Three children-29%
  • Four children-31%
  • Five or more children- no less than 35%

However, it’s imperative to note that the above formula is not the only factor contributing to the allocation of child support. Generally, the court will also consider the following when determining child support payments:

  • Each parent’s earning capacity
  • Each parent’s work history and educational background
  • Each parent’s assets and liabilities
  • The age and health of the child
  • The needs of this child
  • The tax consequences
  • The standard of living the child would have received if the parents stayed together.
  • Whether one parent earns substantially less than the other parent
  • Any other relevant factors

What if I make more money than my child’s other parent?

The court holds both parents financially responsible for their children regardless of whether one parent makes significantly more than the other. If the custodial parent has a substantially higher income than the non-custodial parent, that does not mean that the non-custodial parent will not have to pay child support. The non-custodial parent is still legally obligated to support their child’s basic needs financially.

Ultimately, even if you make more money than your ex-spouse, they must still pay child support. If your former spouse is not complying with their child support obligation, please don’t hesitate to contact a talented attorney from The Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC, who can fight on your behalf for the best possible outcome.