Child Support in New York

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The New York Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) sets forth the terms of how child support shall be paid.

The parent that does not have physical custody of the child is required to pay a pro rata share of child support. Pro rata simply means proportional. To determine the non-custodial parent’s pro rata share of child support the court follows a simple process.

First, the court determines and adds together the income of both parties and then determines what percentage of the total income each parent contributes. The CSSA caps the combined income of the parties at $130,000, however the court has the discretion to go beyond the cap for high-income families.

Second, the court determines what portion of the combined income should be child support by applying the CSSA child support percentages to the combined income. For one child the child support percentage is 17% of the combined parental income, for two children it is 25%, for three children it is 29%, for four children it is 31%, and for five children it can be no less than 35%. Then the court sets the child support obligation for the non-custodial parent by applying his/her income percentage to the amount determined to be appropriate child support.

The non-custodial parent is also responsible to pay their pro rata share for certain mandatory add-on expenses including work necessitated child care, health insurance and uncovered or unreimbursed medical expenses.  The court also has the discretion to order payment for certain educational expenses for a child

The non-custodial parent is obligated to pay child support until the child reaches the age of majority. In New York, 21 years old is the age of majority for child support purposes. The only exception is if the child has become emancipated in some way (e.g., married or self-supporting).


From the author: New York Divorce Law Firm
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