Divorce can be hard on residents of Long Island, but no one experiences it more acutely than the children of a broken marriage. If one parent ends up with sole or primary custody, he or she may need some help making sure that child support takes the financial question out of a child’s future.

Nassau and Suffolk County Courts both offer child support enforcement assistance in the case of divorcing or divorced parents. Parents are best served to understand how these divisions can best help them.

How do parents know what to pay for child support?

Noncustodial parents generally pay a percentage of the parents’ income combined up to $143,000, so the calculation is relatively easy. One child requires 17 percent of income, while two children require 25 percent. This sliding scale moves up to 35 percent for 5 or more children, and other arguments for special costs may be made to the court.

What else does child support need to take into account?

Health care expenses, especially when not covered by insurance, are often extra over percentages of income. Child care, such as private school or after-school care while parents are at work, may also be extra expenses.

What information does Child Support Enforcement need?

If the bureau is preparing an investigation or action against a parent, it will need the full name, date of birth, Social Security number and any income information of the noncustodial parent. The birth certificate of the child or children in question, as well as other identification or information about the family, may also be required.

An attorney can often help parents sort out their legal obligations and make sure that their former partners do the same. A lawyer can also work with enforcement bureaus to make sure children are properly provided for.

Source: Nassau County, “Child Support Enforcement,” accessed Feb. 21, 2018