Calculating Child Support in New York

When a child’s parents divorce or separate, the non-custodial parent is generally required to make monthly payments to the custodial parent in order to help pay for the expense of raising the child, known as child support. In the state of New York, higher-earning, non-custodial parents are generally required to pay child support to the other parent on a weekly, biweekly, monthly, or even bimonthly basis to the other parent for the child’s benefit until the child’s 18th birthday. But how exactly are child support payments calculated?

The amount of support a parent is required to pay will usually be based on the following factors:

  • The age and number of children being supported
  • The paying parent’s ability to pay
  • The annual incomes of both the paying and receiving parents
  • The tax liabilities of each parent and the amount of taxes withheld
  • The quality of life experienced while the child’s parents were still together
  • Any special needs of the child
  • Any existing spousal support arrangements

In addition to these factors, child support payment amounts may be determined under the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA). This law bases basic support awards on a fixed percentage of each parent’s income, with these percentages rising based on the number of children supported. As of 2015, the basic amount of support was 17% of a parent’s income for one child, with a minimum of 35% of a parent’s income being required for support orders including five or more children.

Can Support Orders Deviate From These Guidelines?

Yes. While these guidelines are followed most of the time, special circumstances may arise in which family courts may decide to award an amount that is greater or smaller than the recommended amount. As such, it is always important you consult with a knowledgeable attorney to get a better idea of how much will be awarded in your case.

For more information about calculating child support in New York or for assistance with your family-related legal issue, contact the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC today. With more than 50 years of combined legal experience, our skilled Dutchess County divorce attorneys can provide the trusted guidance you need.
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