What You Need to Know About Child Support in New York

New York guidelines outline the child support process. Here’s what you need to know about child support in New York.

New York courts calculate child support through a set formula that considers the child’s best interests in various circumstances.

What is Child Support in New York?

Child support is money one or both parents pay for the monthly expenses of raising the child(ren). Parents take on court-ordered financial responsibility to provide for each child.

What Does “Best Interests of a Child” Mean?

“Best interest of a child” means courts will take into consideration a child’s happiness, physical and mental well-being, security, and future in custody and child support decisions.

Who Can File for Child Support?

Either parent can file for child support. Although every situation varies, the parent who spends the most time with the child(ren) and has custody generally receives child support payments.

Do Custody and Child Support Affect Each Other In New York?

While custody and child support are separate processes, they can influence each other. In New York, non-custodial parents pay child support, although every situation may vary.

Related: Does Cheating Affect Child Support in California?

What is the Child Support Process in NY?

A parent can file for a child support order in a Family Court or request child support during a divorce proceeding. Both parents will attend a hearing to discuss New York guidelines for child support and settle on a fixed monthly amount. Timelines for the child support process can vary depending on the situation.

Am I Still Entitled to Child Support if I Am Not the Legal/Biological Parent of my Child?

Yes, in New York, non-parents who have guardianship or child custody can ask for child support from one or both of the child’s parents. The child support process is the same for both non-parents and legal parents. Examples of non-parents are a grandparent, foster parent, older sibling, or relative.

Do I Still Have to Pay Child Support If I Am Not the Biological Father of My Child?

Parents who discover they do not share paternity with their child can request a termination of the child support order. A New York court may uphold a child support order if that parent was already financially involved, had a relationship with the child, or if it would be in the child’s best interest.

Related: My Child’s Father Wants Custody to Avoid Child Support

Do I Have to Pay Child Support if I Don’t See My Child?

Yes, non-custodial parents or parents with limited custody have an equal financial responsibility to provide for their child. Custody and child support are separate issues in the divorce process and may have little effect on each other.

Can I Ask for Child Support if I Never Married My Child’s Other Parent?

Yes, child support is not limited to married couples. However, a parent can ask the court to issue an order establishing paternity, or an order of filiation, before signing a child support order. Courts will help legal parents negotiate custody, visitation, and child support.

How is Child Support Determined in New York?

In New York, state guidelines determine the amount of monthly child support through a formula. This formula first calculates the income of both parents and then multiplies that number by a set child support percentage. The number of children who receive child support determines the added percentage.

What Are the Child Support Percentages in New York?

New York has the following set child support percentages :

  • 17% of combined parental income for one child
  • 25% of combined parental income for two children
  • 29% of combined parental income for three children
  • 31% of combined parental income for four children
  • No less than 35% of combined parental income for five or more children

Can I Receive Additional Child Support for Other Expenses?

Yes, New York courts can issue orders of payment for additional expenses, such as childcare, costs of education for the child, and medical costs.

How Do I Pay My Portion of Child Support?

Unless specified in the child support order, the form of payment is up to both parents. Parents can pay child support to the other parent directly, as long as proof of payment exists, or through the Child Support Enforcement Unit.

What is the Child Support Enforcement Unit (CSEU)?

CSEU is a New York State Child Support Processing Center division in Albany, New York. CSEU records child support payments and sends payments to the other parent. When the court orders child support, both parents can agree to pay through CSEU.

Can Child Support Be Modified?

Yes, parents can request a modification in child support. Judges might modify child support orders if there was a significant change of circumstances, if the order is over three years old, or if combined parental income increased by 15% or more.

Under What Circumstances Can I Ask for a Modification in Child Support?

Parents paying child support can ask a court to modify their child support order if they lose their job, have additional children, will be incarcerated, have significant medical issues, among other reasons. Courts evaluate the requests and either modify child support or keep it the same.

How Does Remarriage Affect Child Support?

Remarriage does not financially alter or stop child support payments, and parents are still responsible for paying monthly child support. New York courts, however, may consider a new spouse’s income in requests for a child support modification.

How Does Having Children in a Different Marriage Affect Child Support?

Parents who have children with another partner can ask a judge for a modification request. New York courts consider the best interests of the child receiving support and new babies. Depending on the financial situation of both parties, judges may modify a child support order.

What Happens If the Other Parent of My Child Doesn’t Pay Child Support?

Parents can file a court hearing in Family Court if one parent stops paying child support. New York State does not tolerate missed payments and imposes strict punishments on parents not paying child support, such as fines or jail time.

Can a New York Court Forgive My Missed Payments?

No, in New York, only the other parent can forgive missed payments or accept partial payments. Courts cannot intervene unless a parent requests a modification or files a complaint about missed payments.

When Does Child Support End?

Child support ends when a child turns 21 years old or becomes emancipated.

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