NY Child Support FAQs

Child Support in NY

1. How is child support obtained?
Child support is obtained through a "child support order," which is a legal document issued by a court that states when, how often, and how much a parent is to pay for child support and other related expenses such as non-reimbursed medical expenses and child care expenses. A child support order is typically issued when two parents divorce or separate and one parent retains custody. One parent can also be ordered to pay child support even if he or she never married the other parent, once paternity has been established.

2. How is child support determined in New York State?
Child support law is one of the few areas of law that is straight forward and, as much as anything can be in the law, black and white. New York’ s Child Support Law is better known as the Child Support Standard’s Act (CSSA) and can be found in both the Domestic Relations Law §§240 or Family Court Act §413. Child support in New York is income-based, as opposed to needs-based (which should not imply that the needs of the children are not considered). Accordingly, child support is determined based upon percentages. The non-custodial parent is responsible for:

1. 17% of the adjusted gross income for the support of one child
2. 25% for two children
3. 29% for three children
4. 31% for four children
5. No less than 35% for five or more children.

*Note that the percentage rate is applied on gross income less very limited deductions.

3. Up to what amount are these percentages applied?
Provisions of the Child Support statutes require application of certain percentages to the first $80,000 of combined parental income, depending upon the number of children involved. For amounts above $80,000, the court may use its discretion.

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