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Child Support

In New York Family Court, the law that governs child support is called the Child Support Standards Act and is found in the Family Court Act Section 413 (1-b). This law provides the formula and guidelines, through which the appropriate amount of child support is calculated.

When parties are going through a child support proceeding (commenced with a child support petition) in any of the New York State Family Courts, the Family Court Act governs. A child support award is calculated based on the number of children of the marriage, the combined parental income (less FICA and Medicare deductions), and the parties' proportionate share of the financial child support responsibility. This yields the presumptively legally correct child support calculation. The percentage of the combined parental income allocated for the support of one child is 17%; 25% for two children; 29% for three children; 31% for four children; and for five or more children not less than 35% of combined parental income up to $141,000.

However, the Court is free to use these child support guidelines beyond the combined $141,000 so long as there is a stated reason to order child support based on a combined income above the $141,000. (The case that created this rule is from the 1995 New York Court of Appeals case Cassano v. Cassano, 85 N.Y.2d 649.) It is important to note that child support is not considered income to the custodial parent for tax reporting purposes.

If you are contemplating filing a support petition or if you have been served with a support petition, there are several factors that the Court considers when calculating child support based on the legal guidelines. The factors include:

  • the financial resources of the parents and the child
  • the child's health, needs and aptitude
  • the standard of living during the marriage
  • tax consequences
  • non-financial parental contributions for the child
  • the parent's educational needs
  • the respective financial positions of the parents
  • the financial needs of any children not of the marriage
  • the non-custodial parent's financial costs of visitation with the child
  • and other factors that the Court wishes to consider

Click here to view the New York Child Support Calculation.

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