Where in NYS do you live? Near the city? Western? Upstate? Just wondering...
I have experience in the Western/Southern Tier areas of NYS. I know those financial affidavits you fill out seem to be important, but they aren't, in my experience. The judge doesn't determine CS based on what you pay for rent and utilities. I have heard that it isn't worth the paper it is written on. The only time it may be is if the combined parental income is significant and the judge decides to deviate from regular CS guidelines.
This is what I found:
New York child support is calculated pursuant to the CSSA by first determining Basic Child Support. To determine basic support, the Court must know the income of both parents. Income under the CSSA includes any income that was or should have been reported on the parent's most recent federal income tax return. Income is not limited to income received from an employer or business. It also includes any benefits received, such as workers compensation, disability, unemployment, social security, veterans, pension and retirement, fellowships and stipends and annuity payments. Public assistance is one benefit that is not added into a party's gross income. If one or both of the parents is receiving public assistance, the amount received should not be included in that parent's gross income.
When determining what a parent's income is, the income actually reported, or being received by a parent does not bind a Court. A Court can decide that a parent is capable of earning more money. When that happens the Court may impute income to that parent. To impute income to a parent, a Court determines that person's income level by adding other monies to actual income. For example, if a parent has consistently earned income of $50,000, but at the time of the Court's determination is unemployed or earning $20,000, the Court may calculate the child support on income level of $50,000 as a result of that parent's income earning ability or income earning history. In doing that, the Court will look at that parent's education and work experience, will determine what that parent is capable of earning, and will assess whether there is a good reason for the reduction in that parent's income. This prevents a parent from quitting his or her job, or taking a job paying substantially less, in Order to avoid paying New York child support.
Courts consider other issues when determining a parent's income. For example, if a parent has received fringe benefits or regular gifts, the Court may impute additional income to the parent based upon those payments. Other monies received can also be considered, even if the Court does not technically determine that those payments will be considered income. Those other payments can include other gifts, inheritances, lottery winnings and life insurance benefits.
After the Court determines both of the parents' incomes, including any imputed income, the Court deducts certain items. Those items are Social Security and Medicare taxes and New York City or Yonkers City taxes. If a parent is already paying Court Ordered child or spousal support for a former spouse or children from a former relationship, or if the parent is paying spousal support or maintenance to the other parent, those payments are also deducted from income.
So the real questions are-- can your X's Dad's house be considered "inheritance" and whether you may be be "imputed" at a higher income even though you are making less? Some judges impute, some don't. If the judge believes that you are entering the armed forces because you are a seeking a better life and not trying to get out of paying current CS- you will be okay. I would HOPE that a judge would see your situation (since you will be defending our country) as an exception to imputing.
How much are you paying in CS currently? What is you and your X's income on the most recent CO? How much are you ordered to pay in extras (daycare and out of pocket medical/dental?)? %?