Child Support

In New York, the amount of child support a non-custodial party pays to the custodial parent is calculated by formula established through the provisions of the “Child Support Standards Act” (CSSA). The formula is based upon a percentage of the “combined adjusted gross income” of the parents, as was or should have been reported on the most recent federal income tax return, and certain additions to and deductions from income. The CSSA percentage depends on the number of children of the parents and is mandatory up to the first $130,000 of combined parental income. Where the combined income exceeds $130,000, the court may use its discretion as to how much of that excess shall be paid as child support. The applicable percentages are as follows:

  • 1 Child                     17%
  • 2 Children                 25%
  • 3 Children                 28%
  • 4 Children                 31%
  • 5 or More Children      35%

The parties may negotiate their own agreement for support in accordance with the child support guidelines, or they may “opt out” of the guidelines and agree to a higher or lower percentage of support under certain circumstances. In addition to the child support obligation established through the CSSA formula, parents are also responsible for their pro-rata share of other child care expenses commonly called “Add-on’s”. This additional child support obligation can include:

  • Child care expenses: Where the custodial parent incurs reasonable child care expenses which allow that parent to work, receive education, or vocational training, the cost will generally be prorated, in the same proportion as each parent’s income is to the combined parental income, and will be added to the non-custodial parent’s support obligation.
  • Health Insurance: The court will determine the parties’ obligation to provide health insurance and to pay cash medical support.
  • Educational expenses: The court may require the non-custodial parent to pay a portion ( usually prorated in the same proportion as each parent’s income is to the combined income) of the child’s educational expenses in a manner determined by the court, including direct payment to the educational provider.
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