By David P. Badanes, Esq.

As of January 1, 2014, several new laws will go into effect for New York State. Most of the laws do not directly change the matrimonial or family law statutes (which are called the Domestic Relations Law and Family Court Act in New York State). However, changes in one area of the law can have an indirect effect on a divorce or child support case.

The following is a summary of some of the new laws and how they could affect your divorce or child support matter:

1.  Increase in the Income Level for Determining the Basic Child Support Amount. Currently, the basic child support amount is determined on the combined income of the parents up to $136,000.00. If the parents’ combined income is greater than $136,000.00, then the court is not required to impose the child support percentages to the portion of income greater than $136,000.00. However, every two years, the income level is subject to an increase based on the consumer price index. In 2012, the basic child support level went from $130,000.00 to $136,000.00. As of the date of this article, the actual amount of the increase for 2014 has not been determined. However, it is likely that the new income level will be greater than $136,000.00.

2.  Minimum Wage Increase. In 2014, the minimum wage goes up to $8.00 per hour. Although, a person earning a minimum wage will earn more money, if they have to pay child support, their child support obligation may also increase.

3.  New York City Sick Days Law. For certain employees, if you are employed in New York City, your employer must provide at least 5 sick days. Since sick days are an employment benefit, it is possible that the monetary value of the sick days could be considered in calculating child support and spousal maintenance payments.

4.  Casino Gambling. New York State has now authorized true Las Vegas style casino gambling. Although, you may win money at a casino, any winnings are subject to increases in child support payments and increases in spousal maintenance payments. In contrast, if you lose money at a casino, you most likely will not be able to get a decrease in your child support payments or in your spousal maintenance payments.

5.  Health Insurance Law. With the Affordable Care Act (i.e., “Obamacare”), you are required to obtain health insurance. Therefore, if you are getting divorced, you will need to obtain insurance post-divorce.

David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office monitor all the laws of New York State, and helps you to understand how a new law may affect your divorce or child support matter. David Badanes has represented numerous clients in their divorce or child support matters. If you live in Long Island or New York City and are thinking of getting a divorce, then call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office at 631-239-1702, email at or visit our web site: The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport, Garden City, Brooklyn and Manhattan.

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