New York utilizes a formula when calculating spousal support and child support. While spouses can still negotiate the issue, the law provides the guidelines the court will be using in determining the support award in the absence of an agreement. For both spousal and child support, a standard formula applies up to a certain income cap. If the spouse paying support has income over that cap, the court has discretion to award additional support based on several factors. The amount of the cap is adjusted every two years. The caps for 2022 have been increased by 9.5% no doubt due to the significant inflation we have been seeing recently.
Spousal Support Calculation
As discussed in a prior post, Top Questions About Spousal Support in New York, the formula calculating spousal support varies depending on whether the recipient is also getting child support and whether the payor’s income exceeds an income cap. In 2021, the cap was $192,000. Effective March 1, 2022, the spousal support cap will be $203,000.
If the payor-spouse’s income is more than $203,000, the court uses the standard formula for the income up to and including the income cap. For income exceeding the cap, the amount of additional maintenance awarded, if any, is within the discretion of the court which must take into consideration any one or more of the factors outlined in the statute. These include the parties’ age, health, present and future earning capacity, standard of living, need for training/education, caregiving responsibilities, and tax consequences among other factors.
Child Support Calculation
Child support varies depending on the income of the payor-spouse and the number of children. It is further divided into payment for basic expenses and add-on expenses as discussed in a prior post.
The payment for basic expenses is a fixed percentage of combined parental income up to an income cap, depending on the number of children. The income cap in 2021 was $154,000 but effective, March 1, 2022, it will be $163,000. For any income over $163,000, the courts will try to keep the child(ren) in the same standard of living they would have been in but for the parties’ decision to live separate and apart. Basic child support in this event is paid by the parents in pro rata shares according to their respective incomes.
If you are considering divorce, family law attorneys can help you understand how the court will determine support and negotiate for the best solution for you and/or your children. Contact us today.