Recently, model Linda Evangelista' s case for child support from François-Henri Pinault, created major attention as to how the New York County State Court would handle calculating child support for the child of a billionaire. While the case settled, the story raises interesting questions regarding child support.
Pursuant to Domestic Relations Law 240, basic support of a child is based on the combined parental income of both parents, and the statutory cap is $136,000.00. However, under appropriate circumstances the Court may go above the cap, and often does go above the cap. Under this calculation of income, after Federal and City taxes, the Court computes the non-residential's "pro- rata" share to determine the sum of support to be paid on behalf of the child or children. Additionally, this non-custodial parent pays his or her pro-rata share of health costs and child care expenses. Finally, case law allows the Court in is discretion to direct the non-residential parent to contribute towards expenses for the children, for example, educational costs or extra curricular expenses, where it deems appropriate.
Accordingly, the circumstances presented by the Evangelista case presented an unusual circumstance for the average child support case. The Court is concerned that the basic needs of the child are being met, and in this case, want to ensure the child is supported in a manner concurrent with the parties's life style.
However, this case does raise important factors to consider for high net worth clients. Whether children attend private school, have special needs, or strong extra curricular activities are important to consider when determining whether the basic sum of child support is appropriate.
If you are concerned about child support for your children, contact our office to speak with an attorney who can help answer questions pertaining to you particular case.