How to reduce your child support payments: a manual for Wall Street dads

Many Wall Street tycoons are no longer on the Street, or they are not tycoons anymore. Their salaries have dropped from six figures to low five figures a lot of them and many others are still pounding the pavement looking for jobs.
Many literally can’t afford the child support payments anymore.  They are under water. The good news is that in New York there is something called the CSSA (Child Support Standards Act) and it basically outlines what a noncustodial parent will pay in support. So for those Wall Street dads who used to actually have a salary but who now work for thanks and praise, it would behoove them to get in touch with the CSSA.
The formula codified by the CSSA (statute) basically says that the noncustodial parent will pay a certain percentage of his/her adjusted gross income in support depending on how many children he or she has who are under the age of twenty-one. So for example, if there is one child in question you are looking at 17% of your adjusted gross. If you have two kids, you are looking at 25% of your adjusted gross.
If you have no income but you have a fancy house, the court will “impute” income and base your payments on imputed income of your household.
But the good news is, if your support order is based on your old salary you used to make when you had a real job, then you can go in and bring a petition for “downward modification”. You can do this by order to show cause or by motion. You would serve it on your former spouse and attach exhibits such as your tax returns, pay stubs and cancelled checks to prove your income.
You can’t just not do a downward mod petition because once there is an order in place, your support payments continue to accrue and then you build up all these arrears which you will owe no matter what. So in the future your wages can be garnished if you get another job (support collection track you by your social security number), your bank accounts and tax refunds can be seized. And you can even be tossed into prison if the situation gets out of hand and the court thinks your failure to pay is willful and egregious.

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