New York Child Support Calculations

In New York, both parents must provide financial support for children under the age of 21. If a child is under 21, the parents aren't obliged to support a child who is "emancipated" through marriage, military, or who is otherwise self-supporting. Basic child support is intended to cover the expenses incurred by a custodial parent who maintains the child's household including food, clothing, and basic living expenses. The court orders child support during a divorce case or when a parent files a petition. If parents share the same opinion, they can submit a written agreement which the court will generally accept as long as certain requirements are met.

New York uses an "income shares" model to calculate child support which means that the support is based on the parents' combined income (regardless of their income level) and a percentage of that income based on the number of children. The rationale for using the model is that a child is entitled to receive the same proportion of parental income that they would have received had the parents stayed together. After the calculations are complete, the result is the presumptively correct amount for child support. However, a parent can request a modification of a child support order due to relocation, job loss, or other significant changes of circumstances.

New York Child Support Calculations at a Glance

Because of the complexity of statutory language, an attorney's perspective provides a crucial understanding of the law that can't be replicated. However, it's also very beneficial to view the law in more simplistic terms. The chart below provides a summary of state laws detailing New York's child support calculations.

Statutes

Child Support Formula for Calculations

New York's support guidelines are fixed percentages of gross income and vary only by the number of children, and are as follows:

  • 17% of the combined parental income for 1 child;
  • 25% of the combined parental income for 2 children;
  • 29% of the combined parental income for 3 children;
  • 31% of the combined parental income for 4 children; and
  • No less than 35% of the combined parental income for 5.

Sources of Income

In addition to gross income, the court looks at other sources of income including the following:

  • Disability benefits and worker's compensation
  • Unemployment insurance benefits
  • Social security benefits
  • Veterans benefits
  • Pensions and retirement benefits
  • Fellowships and stipends
  • Annuity payments, and
  • Alimony or spousal maintenance payments

Reduction in Income

If the parent receives benefits that reduce that parent's own living expenses, the court can include them.

Included based on court's discretion:

  • Non-income producing assets
  • Meals, lodging, memberships, cars, that are provided as part of employment compensation
  • Fringe benefits from employment
  • Money, goods, or services provided by friends and relatives

In cases where the court can determine that a parent deliberately reduced income, the court has discretion to impute a higher amount of income that was actually earned based on evidence of past earnings, experience, and education.

Deductions

The court reduces each parents' income by deducting the following:

  • Total social security, Medicare, and self-employment taxes paid for the year
  • Total New York City or Yonkers income taxes paid for the year
  • Annual amount of child support paid to support another child (pursuant to a court order)
  • Annual amount of spousal maintenance to support former spouse (pursuant to a court order/written agreement)

Calculation for the pro rata shares of income

The court calculates a pro rata share of income for both parents by dividing each parent's child support income by the combined total parental income.

Then the court determines the non-custodial parent's pro rata share by multiplying the non-custodial custodial pro rata share of income by the presumptively correct total amount of child support.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

New York Child Support Calculations: Related Resources

Get Help with Child Support Calculations from a New York Attorney

Although statutory guidelines determine child support obligations, there are many factors that impact the actual order. Don't risk your child's security by underestimating the complexity of New York's child support calculations. Get help with calculations and other support issues from an experienced child support attorney located near you.

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