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Child Support in New York

Child support is money paid by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent to cover the cost of a child’s needs. Additionally, if the child lives with each parent equally, there could still be a child support order to provide for the child’s expenses. A parent may file a petition for child support in Family Court if the parties were never married or are already divorced, or a parent may request child support in Supreme Court if there is a pending divorce action. To determine the proper child support award, the court applies a formula according to the guidelines. First, the court will determine the income of each parent. The court will look at all sources of income, such as wages, Social Security benefits, veteran’s benefits, and unemployment insurance benefits. Next, the court will add the parties incomes together and will multiply the combined income by a percentage based on the amount of children the parties have together.

  • 17% for one child

  • 25% for two children

  • 29% for three children

  • 31% for four children

  • 35% for five or more children

Once the court determines the amount based on the percentage, the court will then divide that amount based upon each parent’s income so that the non-custodial parent pays his/her pro rata share to the custodial parent. Each parent will be required to pay this amount towards their child until the child is 21 years old. In addition, each parent will be required to contribute to the child’s "add-ons" based on each parent’s share of the total income. Add ons include but are not limited to childcare, extracurricular activities, the cost of the child's health insurance and unreimbursed medical expenses. The parent paying child support can pay the support directly to the other parent or through the Child Support Enforcement Unit.

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