Child support payment ?s

Friend of mine is pregnant with her boyfriend’s child. He already has a kid from a previous relationship, on which she says he’s currently paying the “maximum” child support, which he states to be up to 40%. Apparently, in NY, if you are paying the maximum allowable amount of support, if you have a second child, then that 40% which currently goes to Child 1 would now have to be split between Child 1 and Child 2 (20% to each). Thus, the amount Child 1 gets would be halved. Is the correct?

My next question is, does it pay for my friend to marry her boyfriend, in terms of what payments he has to make to his ex and their kid. IOW, would his support payments still be halved to Child 1 to support Child 2 if he were married to the mother of Child 2? Or would he have to be supporting Child 2 outside of a marriage in order for this to affect his payments to Child 1? In effect, would marrying my friend and having Child 2 in wedlock in any way reduce or lessen the playments he has been making towards Child 1.

I find all this confusing. If someone could help me figure it out, I’ll explain to my friend. I imagine courts might be involved in this, which is why a basic understanding of the options in this situation might be helpful. I’m hoping a legal-minded doper can parse this scenario and figure our how it would work. This all takes place in the state of NY, if that helps any.


For the first question, I don’t know off hand if the money is split up evenly. I’ll see if I can find my files when I get back to work on an old employee that had three kids that he was paying support to that where all very different ages. Again, I’ll check, but I believe he was paying a higher percentage becuase there was more then one kid invovled.

On the second question…I wouldn’t marry anyone that I was thinking about trying to get child support. If you need to get the government involved to get them to help pay for their child support, they probably arn’t husband material. Marry this person, could wind up being messy and making life harder for the kids. If their just doing it so THEY can get more money in the hopes that Child 1 will now get less then 40%, I don’t think it works that way. I’m thinking their best bet is too get the child support so they now get 20% of the wages instead of whatever dad feels like giving them of the 60% he has left for himself.
BTW you didn’t mention, is Dad planning to stick around and help raise the kid like a good father or is this a deadbeat dad, so to speak? That does kinda change my opinion about the marrige thing.

And BTW, here’s a fun fact if you didn’t already know, the 40% that the gov’t takes is from GROSS pay. So if dad makes $200 and taxes are $60, child support still gets $80 leaving dad with $60. (If it came out of net pay, that would leave dad with $84) but (in Wisconsin) there’s a cap on the payments. For example, the gov’t will tell me to garnish 50% of the employees gross payment, not to exceeed $95.80.
Anyways, I’ll look when I get to work. The file may still be sitting under my desk. If it’s already in storage, I won’t be able to dig it out though.

It seems really strange that Child 1 would be “penalized” by losing half of thier support if Dad has another kid.

It seems stranger that Child #2 would get nothing however. Since you can’t get blood from a stone, i.e. taking 80% of this guy’s income is somewhat unreasonable, the state would almost have to make some sort of decision divying up his “expendable” income.

Sorry, my files for the guy that had theee child support payments are already in storage and would take me hours of digging though paperwork to find.

However, I think the first important thing to know is…is dad a good guy that’s gonna stick around and help raise the kid, or is dad gonna take off and mom’s never gonna see a penny without legal help.
The second question is, how old is child 1?

There’s not a cap quite like that.

Here are a couple of general principles:

  1. Prior support awards are deducted from gross income. As far as I can tell, the theory is that your income would be reduced by the prior award even if both parents lived with the child.

  2. Once prior support and any other deductions are made, the adjusted gross income is multiplied by a standard “guideline percentage,” some states use table lookups instead, so there’s some gradation instead of a straight percentage. That gives you the support amount.

  3. Then the court issues an order to deduct the money from the non-custodial parent’s pay. Here’s where the 40% thing comes in, sort of.

There are federal limitations on garnishment:

There may be state limits that are more restrictive.

I think my first post was not clear, and that’s totally my fault for posting late at night. My friend and her BF are wondering if, now that they are having a child, his payments to his ex for his first child will be decreased. They are wondering if them getting married will effect his child support payments to the first kid, or if his support to the first kid will only be reduced if he’s in a court-ordered payment situation for the second kid, which he won’t be, because they’re together.

I think they will be getting a lawyer, but I was curious. He complains a lot that his baby mama gets a lot of money from him, and is hoping she’ll get less once he has another kid, because he feels the child support he pays now will be financially onerous on his new family.

OK, the max the state can take is 25% for two kids. Let’s say Child 1 is getting 17%. The guys gets married, has Child 2. Will Child 1’s payments be reduced so that he’s getting 12.5% because now there’s a second child in the picture? Is this affected by whether or not the father is living with Child 2’s mother?

There’s a lot of variation between jurisdictions on this point. Here in Michigan, if I’m paying support and then I have another child, and the child lives with me, my original award gets reduced. OTOH, if I’m a non-custodial parent, the math works the way I described (first award has priority–second award is calculated based on a lower adjusted gross than first).

I’m not clear on how it works in New York.

Again, the information I found online doesn’t really give a sufficient explanation. The percentage could be “for this award,” and in fact, that makes the most sense. The first award is getting deducted from the gross, and could come from a different court–or even a different state. Because of this, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to doubly penalize the second child (first by reducing the gross, and second by giving the child a split of the two-child percentage). But as I said, I** don’t really know the answer. ** I’m merely speculating based on insufficient information. This isn’t legal advice, and I’m probably missing something or just plain wrong.

(1) They do need to see a lawyer.

(2) So–he’ll marry her if that means his child support payments will decrease? Sounds like he’s a real winner.

What kind of lawyer deals with this?

No! He’s marrying her regardless, but they are wondering if it will in any way affect his payments for his other kid that he’s getting married and having another child. Answer = unclear, it seems.

Domestic relations.

The answer probably is clear and well-settled, I just don’t know what it is. :smiley:

The answer is no, and there really isn’t any ambiguity about it. Gfactor posted a link to the state’s child support website, which is where your friends should start. In New York State, child support payments are based on a fixed percentage of gross income. Since the children are with different mothers, it’s 17% of his gross income for each kid. If the two kids were with the same mother, it would be 25% for both. The law recognizes that having two kids in the same households creates some economies of scale – ie, only one heating bill.

As Gfactor points out, the amount of child support goes up from there – not down – based on other expenses such as health insurance.

The father may argue hardship or other extenuating circumstances in an effort to reduce his payments, but that seems unlikely in this case based on the brief overview you’ve shared.

I am not your lawyer and this does not constitute legal advice.

If the second child is not the object of a child support order (parents married and living together), why would it affect the child support being paid to the first child? I don’t know, I am just asking.

Depends on the jurisdiction. Some give non-custodial parents a deduction for children who are living with them. E.g., (p. 25).

This doesn’t seem at all clear to me from the website posted, nor does it make sense*. Your method of interpreting the given website implies that a man who fathered six children with 6 different women would be mandated by the state to pay 102% of his gross income in child support.
*Yeah, I know, the law doesn’t have to make sense. It’s the law.


  1. They weren’t all born at the same time; and
  2. The moms sought support around the time the kids were born

that wouldn’t* happen.

Dad’s gross income would be reduced by each award before the next one was calculated. So each 17% calculation would be based on a smaller adjusted gross than the last one. Also, the amount that can be withheld from his check is limited to 60% of his disposable income. That doesn’t mean awards over the 60% limit don’t count. They just don’t get paid until later.

*Not directly anyway. It’s possible for the aggregate awards to be very high. And there is usually a minimum child support payment.

Yeah, I figured his support payments wouldn’t go down.

Do her assets get counted at all in computing what support he has to pay to his ex and her kid? If you’re married to someone who pays child support, and you have a joint checking account, or own a home, does that alter what you pay? Or is it solely based on gross income?

I have never had to deal with anything like this, so it’s all ignorance-fighting to me.

I think this calculator covers most of the required data: New York Child Support Calculator | AllLaw

Here’s the statute:$$DOM240$$@TXDOM0240+&LIST=LAW+&BROWSER=35202363+&TOKEN=42246349+&TARGET=VIEW

As a general rule, support is based on the combined income of the parents–not assets, and not income earned by non-parental units… Of course it gets complicated when the non-custodial parent owns an income-generating asset with another person (spouse or not).