This is a guide to determining basic child support on combined parental income of under $136,000.
What is income?
The CSSA defines income as gross income reported on the most recent tax return. However, worker's compensation benefits, social security benefits, unemployment benefits, disability payments, pension and retirement benefits, fellowship and stipend payments and annuity payments will also be considered in determining gross income. There are also times in which certain benefits and gifts can be input end as income. This will be the topic of a future Legal Guide.
I have the income, what's next?
Once you have both parents incomes, you have to determine if FICA is being paid from that income.
What is FICA?
FICA stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act. It is the money taken out of a pay check for Social Security (6.2%) and for Medicare (1.45%). The total percentage is currently 7.65%. However, as of 2013 FICA is only paid on the first $113,700 of income.
Combined Parental Income.
Assuming both parents pay FICA, you then add the parents gross incomes together. For example Parent A earned $43,000 and Parent B earned $73,000. The combined parental income would be $116,000. You then determine FICA for each parent. Parent A would be $3,289.50 (43,000 x .0765= 3289.50). Parent B's FICA obligation would be $5,584.50 (73,000 x .0765= 5584.50).
Adjusted Combined Parental Income
You then subtract the gross income of each parent from his/her respective FICA contribution to determine the adjusted income for each parent. Then add the two adjusted income figures together to determine the combined adjusted gross income. In this example the adjusted combined parental income would be $107,126.00 (39710.50+67415.50= 107,126.00).
Child Support Percentages
In New York State the applicable percentage to determine basic support is based upon the number of children. For one child it is 17%. For two children it is 25%. For three children it is 29%. For four children it is 31%. For five or more children it is no less than 35%.
Basic Support Calculation.
In our example the parents have one child. The applicable percentage rate would be 17%. Thus the combined annual presumptively correct basic child support obligation would be $18, 211.42 (107,126 x .17= 18,211.42). You then determine each parent's respective pro-rata share. In this case the combined parental income was $116,000. Parent B's income is $73,000. $73,000 divided by $116,000 equals 63%. Thus Parent B's presumptively correct child support pro-rata percentage would be 63%. Further, Parent A's pro-rata obligation would be 37% (100 - 63 = 37). You then multiply the combined obligation by each parent's pro-rata percentage to determine his/her obligation. For example Parent A's obligation would be 18,211.42 x .37 = $6,738.23. Parent B's obligation would be 18,211.42 x .63 = 11,473.19. These are the annual amounts. To determine weekly amounts divide by 52.
Who Pays Who?
The non-custodial parent pays support to the custodial parent. So in our example let's assume Parent B is the custodial parent. Parent A would then have a presumptively correct child support obligation to pay the sum of $6,738.23 per year to Parent B for their child's basic support.
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