In New York, parents are required to financially support their children until they are 21. When parents separate or divorce, it can be a very financially unstable time. It’s essential for parents to understand their responsibility regarding child support and how the state calculates that responsibility.
Child support payments in New York are reliant on a child’s interests and needs, the income of both parents, and which parent has custody of the children. Because child support is so variable, the average child support amount in the state is not useful to many parents trying to determine what their support responsibility will be. Support payments are broadly calculated based on your income and how many children you are supporting. The guidelines in New York are outlined in the Child Support Standard Act (CSSA) passed in 1989, which provides specific steps to determine your support payments.
How to Calculate Child Support in New York
New York uses the income shares model to determine child support payments. The steps to determine child support for your specific situation are:
- Calculate the Parents’ Combined Gross Income
The total income of both parents is essential to determining child support payments, and the court relies on each parent’s gross income. This means what parents earn minus their expenses. This total income figure leaves out common expenses, such as:
- -Any public assistance benefits
- -Child support payments from a prior relationship
- -Spousal support payments
- -Certain taxes
There is typically a cap on combined gross income. If parental income exceeds this amount, a different calculation may be used.
- Establish the Percentage of Support Based on the Number of Children
Using the total gross income, the New York CSSA law outlines the percentage of this amount that should be allocated for a child’s needs and support. This percentage changes depending on the number of children who require support. These percentages are:
- -17% for one child
- -25% for two children
- -29% for three children
- -31% for four children
- -35% for five children
If a family has five or more children in need of support, the percentage cannot be lower than 35%, but it may be higher.
- Divide the Amount to Determine Each Parent’s Share
The next step is to determine each parent’s proportional share of those support payments based on their share of parental income and which parent has custody. Whatever percentage of the combined income the noncustodial parent earns, they owe the same percentage of the total child support. This is the case unless the court determines that this is unjust to the paying parent.
Deviations to the Formula
There are situations where the court will not follow the support formula exactly. The formula is meant to cover basic child support requirements but not additional expenses. In many cases, parents are expected to share these expenses equally. In other cases, the court will alter support calculations to address unique factors in a family’s life, such as their standard of living, tax considerations regarding the support, or any additional financial needs of a child.
Q: How Much Does the Father Have to Pay for Child Support in New York?
A: A parent’s obligation to child support is dependent on:
- -Each parent’s income
- -Their combined gross income
- -The number of children that need support
- -The parent who has custody
Child support is not reliant on either parent’s gender. A parent who does not have custody of children will likely have to pay a certain amount of child support, and this amount depends on all those factors. An experienced child support attorney can help divorcing or separating parents determine how child support may be assigned.
Q: How Long Can You Go Without Paying Child Support in New York?
A: If a parent is unable to meet their support payments, it’s important to discuss that with an attorney and determine if a modification can be made to support payments, rather than go without paying support. Any arrears may result in administrative penalties, such as an increased amount of support payments. If a parent is 2 months late or $300 overdue on support payments, their bank accounts may be frozen until the amount is paid. If a parent goes for 4 or more months without paying child support, the court can suspend a state-issued license, such as a driver’s license or administrative license.
Q: Can Parents Waive Child Support in New York?
A: In New York, both parents are required to financially support their child until the child is:
- -In the military
Although there are some unique situations where both parents can agree to waive child support and the court approves, this is not common. Child support is based on what a child’s needs are, and the court must think of the child’s interests above anything else. Many courts require a minimum mandatory payment from a noncustodial parent. If parents have shared custody, waiving support is more likely to be allowed, but the court may still require support from a higher-earning spouse.
Q: How Much Is Child Support in New York?
A: Child support is based on a specific formula in New York, which depends on each parent’s income, which parent has custody, and how many children need support. In New York, there are guidelines for what percentage of the parents’ combined gross income should be provided for children. If a couple is supporting one child, 17% of their combined income should go to supporting their child. For two children, 25% of their income; for three children, 29% of their income. Then, parents determine the share of support, depending on their share of the total income.
Contact the Law Offices of Robert Tsigler, PLLC
Determining child support can be incredibly stressful for parents who are already dealing with the financial stresses of separation. Child support is provided to help and support a child, and parents should always remember to keep their child’s needs at the forefront of support determinations.
Whether your support case is part of a divorce case or not, an attorney can help you mediate an agreement outside of court that benefits your family’s interests. If mediation isn’t possible, your attorney can instead represent you in litigation. At the Law Offices of Robert Tsigler, PLLC, our attorneys work to provide individual and compassionate legal support during a difficult case. Contact our team today to see how we can help.