Child Support
Garden City Law Firm

How much should I pay or receive as child support?

Child support in New York is calculated pursuant to the New York Child Support Standards Act ("CSSA") (Domestic Relations Law §240(1--b) and Family Court Act § 413(1)(b)).

Under the statutes, the "basic child support obligation" is calculated by multiplying the "combined parental income" by the appropriate "child support percentage." "Income" is defined as "gross income as was or should have been reported on the most recent federal income tax return" less deductions for social security and New York City and Yonkers income taxes." (other possible deductions are listed in §240 and § 413(1)(b))

The "child support percentage" is fixed as follows:
a) 17% of the combined parental income for one child;
b) 25% of the combined parental income for two children;
c) 29% of the combined parental income for three children;
d) 31% of the combined parental income for four children; and
e) no less than 35% of the combined parental income for five or more children.

Will the basic child support amount include expenses for the child such as child care, health care and education expenses?

The basic child support obligation does not include “add-on” expenses such as child care, health care, and educational expenses. These add-on expenses are typically paid by the parents pursuant to their pro-rata share. For example, if the non-custodial parent makes 60% of the combined parental income then that parent shall be responsible for 60% of the add-on expenses.

What can I do if the non-custodial parent stopped paying child support pursuant to an agreement or an order?

A court order or judgment for support may be enforceable by means of garnishment, wage deduction, income execution, property liens or contempt. In addition, in New York child support arrears are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

My child just turned 18, do I still need to pay child support?

Generally, a parent’s child support obligation ends when a child reaches the age of 21 or is earlier emancipated. The parents may agree to support their children beyond the age of 21, for example, until the child graduates from college.

Do I need to pay child support if I am not currently seeing my child?

Typically, even if you are not currently seeing your child, you must still pay child support. You may be interested in bringing a petition for visitation or an application to enforce the visitation provisions of an agreement or order.