Who has an obligation to pay child-support in New York?

The correct answer is both parents are required to contribute to the support of their child until that child reaches the age of 21.  In terms of which parent is required to make child-support payments, the non-custodial parent is required to make payments to the custodial parent.  The amount that each parent must contribute varies based on income and number of children.

What is the basic child-support obligation in New York?

The basic child-support obligation, where the combined parental income is $136,000.00 or less, is determined by applying the formula set forth in Family Court Act Section 413(1)(c).

Family Court Act Section 413(1)(c) requires a fixed percentage of a parent’s income (minus certain deductions), plus the parent’s proportional share of child care expenses, plus the parent’s proportional share of unreimbursed medical expenses, plus any other expenses that the court may order.

What are the fixed percentages of parental income to be paid toward child support in New York?

Number of Children                     % of Parental Income

One child                                                           17%

Two children                                                    25%

Three children                                                 29%

Four children                                                   31%

Five or more children                                    35% or more

What is considered income for purposes of calculating child-support in New York?

All income must be considered, not just the income reported to the Internal Revenue Service.  This amount may include:

1.  Money realized from investments

2.  Imputed income from past income or resources

3.  Worker’s compensation

4.  Disability benefits

5.  Unemployment insurance

6.  Social security benefits

7.  Veteran’s benefits

8.  Pension and retirement funds

9.  Annuity payments

10. Any other resource or income that they court may in its discretion consider

What deductions must apply?

1.  Social security taxes (FICA), already paid

2.  New York City or Yonkers income tax, actually paid

3.  Child support actually paid on behalf of another child where there is a legal obligation to make such payment

4.  Alimony or maintenance on behalf of a former spouse where there is a legal obligation to make such payment

5.  Public Assistance

6.  Supplemental security income

7.  Unreimbursed employe

8.  Business expenses

How is a parent’s proportional share calculated in New York?

First, determine the total combined income for both parents.  Then divide the total amount of a parent’s income by the total combined parental income.

Custodial parent’s share = custodial parent income/combined parental income

Non-custodial parent’s share = non-custodial parent income/combined parental income.

May the Court deviate from this standard?

Generally speaking, a court will not deviate from this standard unless there is a finding by the court that the amount is unjust or inappropriate.  In determining whether the amount is unjust or inappropriate the court takes into consideration the following factors:

1.  Financial resources of both parents and the child

2.  Physical/emotional health of the child including any special needs or aptitudes

3.  Tax consequences to the parties

4.  Substantial differences in gross incomes of the parents

5.  Standard of living child would have enjoyed

6.  Non-monetary contributions of the parents to the child

7.  Educational needs of either parent

8.  Any other factor which the court deems relevant

May parties deviate from this standard?

The parties may deviate from this standard if they agree to do so in writing.  However, the court must approve of the agreement and the writing must comply with certain statutory requirements.  If the agreement does not comply with statutory requirements, it will be deemed void.

What is the calculation of child-support in New York where the combined parental income is greater than $136,000.00?

The Court may apply the statutory standard for income over $136,000.00, but it is in the court’s discretion to do so.

How can this firm help?

This firm offers a wide-array of legal services including full-representation, mediation, and limited-scope services such as consultation, document preparation, and document review to assist clients in determining the amount of a parent’s child-support obligation, helping them to draft a statutorily compliant agreement, and/or representing them in a child-support action or divorce.

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As part of its commitment to assisting divorcing couples in making this decision, this firm offers a free case evaluation.  You can click the below link to submit your inquiry electronically or you can call us toll free at (877) 631 – 7919.

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