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NY MAINTENANCE AND CHILD SUPPORT

The New York law provides maintenance and child support guideline formulas.

MAINTENANCE

In New York, maintenance (also known as alimony in other states) is based on a number of financial factors in the case. In order to assist in the determination of the appropriate amount, the statute has a formula based on the gross income of the parties.  The formula results in a different amount of maintenance depending on whether or not the maintenance payor is also paying child support for children of the marriage.

The statutory maintenance formula applies to the monthly gross incomes of both parties adjusted for FICA, Medicare and/or self employment taxes.   The formula has a cap of $192,000 per year of gross income for the payor spouse (effective 2021 and subject to future increase).  If the payor’s income is more than $192,000 per year, the New York law does not provide any formula amount for maintenance. In that case, the amount is based on a determination of an appropriate amount based on the factors of the case. Family Law Software has after-tax cash flow calculators useful for the analysis of the appropriate amount of maintenance.

CHILD SUPPORT

The New York child support guideline formula is based on the monthly gross incomes of both parents and specifies an amount of support using a chart of child support amounts based on combined income and number of children.

Maintenance paid by one parent to the other parent is a deduction from the gross income of the payor and an addition to the gross income of the child support recipient.  Other adjustments to the parties’ gross incomes are maintenance payments to a former spouse, child support payments for other children and FICA, Medicare and/or self employment taxes.

The basic child support amount is adjusted by the percent of combined income for the payor and then can be further adjusted by such factors as child care costs, medical insurance premiums and unreimbursed medical expenses.

Under the New York law the resulting child support amount is the presumptive amount.  If the parties’ combined gross income exceeds $154,000 per year  (effective 2021 and subject to future increase) the formula child support amount is the highest number on the chart.  In this situation the statute authorizes the parties to mathematically extrapolate the child support chart or consider other factors in the case to determine the appropriate amount of chid support.

DEVIATION FROM THE SUPPORT FORMULAS

The parties can agree to a different amount of child support and/or maintenance or the judge can enter an order for a different amount as a deviation from the guidelines. Family Law Software has a variety of helpful calculators to use to look at how much each person has to spend per month after tax in order to decide whether or not the guideline amounts are appropriate or a deviated amount would better fit the facts and circumstances of the case.

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