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What is the income shares model of child support?

New York courts apply the income shares model in child support cases. This model generally requires both parents to contribute to the financial support of their child and a percentage of the sum of their collective incomes should be set as support for their child.

Under the New York child support guidelines, parents are expected to contribute 17 percent of their collective income to the support of one child. In this type of child support case, if the mother earned $200,000 per year and the father earned $70,000, the court would start by calculating the sum of their combined income to $270,000. The court would then calculate 17 percent of $270,000 as $45,900, and that would be the amount of money the parents would need to contribute for the child for a year of support.

Similarly, if two lower income earning parents shared one child, their child support computation may look a little different. If the mother earned $50,000 and the father earned $60,000, the parents would have a combined income of $110,000. In this situation, 17 percent of the parents' collective income would be $18,700, or a full $27,200 less than the child in the first example. Under the income shares model, the percentage of income that the parents contribute does not change, but their incomes modify how much their children will receive.

This post is not offered as legal advice and readers should speak with their family law attorneys to better understand their own child support computation. In sum, however, readers should take from this post that both parents are expected to contribute to the financial care of their kids even if their relationships end in separation or divorce.

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