If you make more money than your ex and have custody of your child, you may wonder whether your ex will still have to pay child support. The answer, in short, is yes, though how much depends on New York statutory law, case law, and a specific formula. The reasoning is this: had the parents never been divorced, both parents (regardless of how much each earned) would still be responsible for their child’s food, clothing, and shelter. Keep reading to learn how New York approaches child support and how a Suffolk County divorce attorney can advocate for you in child support negotiations.
What Is Child Support in New York? Who Pays It? Definitions You Should Know
New York categorizes parents as either custodial or non-custodial. In joint physical custody, for purposes of child support calculations, whoever earns less will be deemed the custodial parent, while whoever earns more will be deemed the non-custodial parent.
After a divorce (where there is not joint physical custody), the child primarily resides with the custodial parent. The non-custodial parent gives monetary support to the custodial parent.
Children are the offspring, biological or adopted, of one or both spouses. In New York, parents will have responsibility for their children until the children reach 21 years of age, get married, become self-supporting, or join the military.
Child support in a divorce is money a non-custodial parent pays to the custodial parent for the care of their child. This can include payments in cash, child health insurance, health care costs not covered by insurance, and child care payments.
Parents may request to modify the child support order if there has been a substantial change in circumstances. Judges and hearing officers do a case-by-case assessment to decide if the specific facts of the case warrant the modification.
For child support orders made on or after October 13, 2010, parents may also request to modify the amount (1) after three years pass since the order was entered or (2) if there was a 15 percent or greater change in one of the parents’ income since the order was entered.
Incarcerated parents can also request a modification, but only if they aren’t incarcerated for failing to pay child support or for some offense against the other parent.
Finally, if the parents together agree on a support amount, they can file a Stipulation for Child Support to request that the court approve this agreement. Their agreement won’t be binding until the court approves it, and if so, the courts will presume that it is fair and equitable.
Child support agreements can also be modified, if either parent can prove that an unforeseen change in circumstances occurred and can substantiate their claim of need. If a parent wants to request an increase, they will need to show that the existing order is insufficient to meet their child’s needs.
How Much Is Child Support in New York?
Child support in New York is calculated using a three-part formula.
First: combine the parents’ income then calculate the pro-rata share of each.
Second: use the Child Support Standards Act to calculate how much should be reserved for child support. The CSSA stipulates the following percentages:
- For one child, 17%
- For two, 25%
- For three, 29%
- For four, 31%
- For five or more, 35%
Third: calculate each parent’s share. The non-custodial parent will be required to pay a pro-rata share, if so doing would not be unjust or improper.
Reach Out to Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc.
If you want to learn more about child support, and how a divorce attorney can help you come to a positive result regarding your child support responsibilities, please don’t hesitate to call us today. Schedule a free consultation so we can have a conversation about your best options.