Determining Child Support for Unmarried Parents in New York

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If you and your partner have a child together but have decided to split up, you likely have a lot of questions. For example, you are probably wondering how you can determine child support and child custody. Read on to learn more about how New York State determines child support and child custody for unmarried parents.

Determining Paternity

In order to determine custody, you must first establish paternity. In New York, fathers do not have any rights until paternity is established. There are two ways for unmarried parents to establish paternity in New York State. You can do this by:

  1. Signing a voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) form, available from hospitals, local district child support offices, and local birth registrars; or
  2. Filing a court petition to have the court determine paternity.

Determining Custody

Once paternity is established, you will be able to determine custody. Custody plays a large role in determining child support arrangements. When making a decision about child custody, a New York court may examine some of the following factors:

  • If the parent will act in the child’s best interest
  • If the parent can provide a stable home
  • The relationship between the child and each parent
  • Any history of domestic abuse or substance abuse
  • The mental and physical health of the parent
  • The work schedule and lifestyle of the parent
  • The preference of the child if they are of sufficient age

Determining Child Support

The formula for calculating child support in New York is based on a percentage of the combined income of each parent and the number of children that require financial support. If the combined parental income exceeds $143,000 the court will apply the following child support percentages:

  • One child- 17%
  • Two children- 25%
  • Three children- 29%
  • Four children- 31%
  • Five or more children- at least 35%

In addition, the court may examine the following factors when making a decision regarding child support:

  • How many children are in your household
  • Whether you or your former spouse have hefty medical bills
  • Your gross yearly income
  • Your child’s age
  • Whether your child has any special needs
  • Whether your child is pursuing a higher education

If you have any questions or concerns regarding child support for unmarried parents, contact our firm today to discuss. We are here to advocate for you and walk you through all of your family law matters.


Peter V. Mandi, Esq. is an experienced divorce and family law attorney located in Bohemia, New York. Our firm understands the impact a divorce can have on your life. If you require strong and dedicated legal representation in Long Island, New York, please do not hesitate to contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. today.

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