Child Support in the State of New York
Child Support is a payment made for the care and support of a child. Generally, support is paid by the non-custodial parent of a child to the custodial parent of the child.
Child support is calculated according to the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA). This is a formula that calculates child support based upon the parent’s income and the number of children for whom support is owed. A parent’s income may include pensions, workers’ compensation benefits, unemployment, social security income and retirement benefits along with income from other sources.
The percentages for child support calculations are as follows:
17% for one child
25% for two children
29% for three children
31% for four children
35% for five or more children
The corresponding child support percentage is applied to the combined parental income, which gives you the basic child support obligation amount. When the combined parental income is less than the income cap of $154,000 (this number is set by statute and may increase periodically), the Court will multiply the income amount by the corresponding child support percentage.
Add-ons are divided between the parents according to their pro-rated percentage share of their combined incomes (pro-rata share). This percentage is found by dividing one parent’s gross income by the combined parental income.
If the combined parental income is over the income cap, it is up to the Court’s discretion to apply the child support percentage up to the cap or to apply it to the entire combined parental income amount.
For example: If the combined parental income is $200,000 and you have one child, the Court will either apply 17% to the entire $200,000 or apply 17% up to the income cap of $154,000.
In the alternative, if the parents agree on a child support amount on their own, they have a right to waive the Child Support Standards Act guideline amount. They would just have to submit the amount in writing along with a reason of why they chose to deviate.
In some circumstances, child support agreements/orders may need to be modified for a few reasons: a parent may lose their job, or have a drastic decrease (or increase) in income, which would then warrant a modification hearing. With a modification hearing, the petitioning parent would need to prove the change in circumstances before a Judge/Referee.
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We have experience in representing parties on both sides of child support proceedings. If you need guidance in seeking child support payments or help modifying an existing order, contact us today. We will be more than happy to help get you what you need.