It is not uncommon for parents who share custody of a child to have disparate incomes. Thus, in many instances, one parent will be required to pay child support to his or her co-parent. In general terms, New York courts calculate child support obligations based on the income of both parents. As discussed in a recent New York family law case, however, income is not solely defined as income earned through employment but can include income from other sources as well, such as money from a significant other. If you or your child’s co-parent wish to seek child support, it is advisable to speak to an experienced New York child support attorney to discuss what you can do to protect your rights.
Facts of the Case
Reportedly, the mother and father were married in 2003 and had two children during their marriage. In 2013, the father filed for divorce. The parties came to an agreement with regards to custody but agreed to allow the court to determine property division and financial matters. The court subsequently awarded the mother $1,770 in monthly child support, based on the mother’s imputed annual income of $25,000 and the father’s imputed annual income of $75,000, after which both parents appealed.
Imputed Income in Child Support Cases
Under New York law, a court has broad discretion with regards to imputing income when calculating an appropriate amount of child support and is not limited to what the parties represent with regards to their finances. Specifically, a court may impute income based on a parent’s future earning capacity, employment history, educational background, and money received from friends and family. In imputing income to a parent, however, a court must provide a record that clearly indicates the source of the imputed income, the reasons for imputing income to the parent, and the calculations that resulted from the imputed income.