In cases where a child’s parents get a divorce or are no longer in a relationship with each other, child support will usually be ordered, and this will ensure that both parents are making the required financial contributions. While the requirement to pay child support can seem like a difficult burden to bear, it will ensure that a child will have the necessary financial resources to meet their ongoing needs as they grow up. To ensure that these payments are used properly, and to address any other needs that may apply for a child, parents should be sure to understand the types of expenses that child support will cover and the situations where additional support may be ordered.
Basic Child Support Obligations and Other Additional Costs
When a child support order is created, a “basic child support obligation” will be determined. This amount is calculated by adding the parents’ incomes together and applying a percentage that is based on the number of children being supported. For example, in cases where parents have two children, the child support percentage is 25 percent. The resulting figure will be prorated, and the non-custodial parent will have a child support obligation that is based on their income as a percentage of the couple’s combined income.
The basic child support obligation is meant to provide for children’s basic needs. These include food and nutrition, clothing, and living expenses such as rent or utilities. The custodial parent may use the child support payments they receive, as well as the income they earn on their own, to cover these costs. However, there are some additional expenses that may also be added to a parent’s child support obligations, including:
Child care – If the custodial parent works or is pursuing education or vocational training, and children need to attend daycare or receive other forms of child care while this parent is unavailable, the costs of child care may be shared by the parents. The court may determine a reasonable amount that should go toward child care expenses, and this amount will be prorated to calculate the non-custodial parent’s obligations.
Cash medical support – If health insurance coverage is available to children under a plan provided by either parent’s employer, the costs of including children on a health plan will be prorated and divided between the parents. If coverage is not available, parents will be required to obtain coverage through a program such as Medicaid, and they will be responsible for sharing the costs of this coverage. However, there are limits on the maximum amount a parent will be required to pay, which is generally 5 percent of a parent’s gross income. Cash medical support may also include other health-related expenses that are not covered by insurance, and these expenses may also be prorated and divided between the parents.
Educational expenses – If the court determines that it is in a child’s best interests to receive certain types of education, including attending private school, college, or other forms of enriched education, parents may be required to contribute toward any necessary costs related to the child’s education.
Contact Our Rockland County Child Support Lawyer
While calculating child support may seem straightforward, there are a variety of issues that may complicate these matters. Law Offices of Robert S. Lewis, P.C. can help you consider all applicable factors that may affect the support you pay or receive, including income earned by both parents, allowable deductions, and extraordinary expenses. We will work to make sure your child will have the financial support they need, no matter what happens in the future. Contact our Hudson Valley child support attorney today by calling 845-358-7100 and setting up a free consultation.