Calculating child support can be a complicated process to navigate during divorce. Here’s how to calculate child support in New York.

Courts may order non-custodial parents to pay child support to the other parent. New York courts calculate child support awards for parents making less than $154,000 by combining both parents’ income and determining a proportion of the income the non-custodial parent must pay using a set percentage per child. Courts may use this same calculation for parents making over $154,000 and add in an extra award using their discretion for the parents and children’s situation.

What is child support?

Child support is a mandatory payment the court orders one parent to pay the other parent for the child’s expenses. Child support payments provide economic support for the child by ensuring the child has the same amount of support they would receive if the parents did not separate. The non-custodial parent typically makes child support payments to the custodial parent.

New York law suspends child support payments once the child reaches the age of 21. Parents have no legal obligation to support a child over 21 unless they get a private agreement. The court may terminate child support payments before a child turns 21 if a child older than 16 becomes emancipated. The supporting parent must ask the court to suspend child support payments because of the child’s emancipation to terminate payments.

New York Child Support Laws

New York law states that support payments cover a child’s:

  • Housing costs,
  • Food and drink costs,
  • Health insurance,
  • Medical costs,
  • Educational expenses and/or
  • Any household expenses which support the child’s basic quality of life

How are orders paid?

Orders are to be paid according to court orders, on a weekly, biweekly, monthly, or bimonthly basis.

Related: New York Child Support FAQs

How are orders calculated?

For a rough estimation of a child support order, divide the estimated annual support amount by the frequency in which noncustodial parent pays child support. The three-step formula is: 17% for one child, 25% for two children, 29% for three children, 31% for four children. To help with calculations, divorcing parents can also reference online calculators during the process.

After making this calculation, the court will determine a proportion of the percentage of the combined parental income each parent must pay. For example, if the supporting parent contributes 40% to the combined income and has one child, they must pay 40% of 17% of the combined income.

Any calculation the court makes using this formula is the parent’s basic child support obligation. The court may add an extra amount to child support payments to cover the child’s expenses if the situation warrants it, such as outstanding healthcare costs.

The court may choose to follow this formula or add other factors to determine child support if the combined parental income is more than $154,000. The court may use the formula for the entire combined income or use it for just the first $154,000 of the combined income.

How long are children allowed child support?

A child is entitled to be supported by his/her parents until the age of twenty-one.

Do I have to pay child support if my child moves out of New York?

Until the child is of the age of twenty-one child support must be paid in New York.

What States have the toughest child support laws?

New York is one of the top five states with the toughest child support laws. The top five states are Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, California, and New York.

How far behind can a parent be on child support for it to be considered a felony in New York?

Failure to pay child support is considered a form of child neglect in New York. If a parent owes over ten thousand dollars in child support, then the parent is committing a class E felony and will face the consequences of the penal code.

Related: Child Support Laws in New York

Is child support mandatory?

Both parents share a duty to support their child until the child turns twenty-one.

Is child support taxable?

Alimony payments are tax deductible to the payer and deductible from the recipient.

What happens if a parent overpays child support?

New York state law states in the case of overpayment of child support, the paying parent will not be refunded and will not receive credit back.

Is New York considered a 50/50 custody state?

New York is not considered a fifty-fifty custody state, joint custody between both parents is often sought after to allow for both parents’ involvement.

How far can a parent move with joint custody?

There are no limitations imposed on the distance a parent can move, yet custody orders can specify a certain geographic location which they must remain within.

Are there any strategies to aid in winning custody?

There is an equal chance of either parent getting custody of a child. Child custody is decided on a case by case basis based on the discretion of the court.

Can a mother move a child away from a father?

Under New York law, a parent is not allowed to move a child away from one of their parents without notifying and gaining approval from the other parent or at the discretion of the court.

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If you or a loved one would like to learn more about how to calculate child support in New York, get your free consultation with one of our child support attorneys today!