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Child Support

There are two components of child support in New York State.

Basic child support is the amount paid by the “non-custodial parent” to the “custodial parent”. If both parents have the child for “equal” time, then the parent with higher income is designated as the non-custodial parent for the purposes of computing child support. The amount of this payment is based upon a strict formula using both parents’ income and the number of children for whom they are responsible.

Calculating Child Support

If both parents’ combined income is $143,000 or less, the Court applies a formula based upon how many children they have. New York State’s child support percentages are as follows: 17% of income for one child; 25% for two children; 29% for three children; 31% for four children; 35% for five or more children. If both parties’ combined income exceeds $143,000, then a Court has the discretion to award child support using the same formula to as much of their combined income as the Court deems appropriate.

Add-on Expenses

The Court also may require a parent to pay certain additional expenses of their children, including but not limited to, the following:

  • Unreimbursed medical expenses;
  • Reasonable childcare expenses if the custodial parent is working, or in school, or in a vocational training program;
  • Reasonable education expenses;

Child support in New York State continues until a child attains the age of 21.

Modifying Child Support

A party may seek modification of child support by filing an application in court based upon the following: a substantial change of circumstances; the passage of three years since the child support order was issued or a 15% increase or decrease in either parent’s income since the original order was issued.

Enforcing Child Support

If a party is not receiving child support, he or she can file a motion or petition to require the defaulting party to respond to the allegations of arrears in a court of law. A court could decide that the child support is not owed or that the child support is owed and enter a money judgment against the payor or even find the payor to be in contempt of court and place the payor in jail for as long as six months. Courts do not take child support obligations lightly. If you find yourself needing to commence or defend against a legal action regarding child support, feel free to contact the Law Office of Jacalyn F. Barnett, P.C. at 212-685-5545 for a consultation.