How Child Support is Calculated in New York
Child support is available as an ancillary issue in any matrimonial action or as an independent proceeding in Family Court. Child support is based applying a percentage of income without requiring the court to determine the needs of the child. The New York Child Support Standards Chart is available from New York State to assist people in determining the approximate amount of annual child support.
Child Support Guidelines
The child support guidelines are found in the Child Support Standards Act, which is DRL 240(1-b) and FCA 413. It mandates a three step process in calculating all child support orders.
- Determine the combined adjusted gross income of both parents
- Apply the statutory percentages set forth in the CSSA
- Pro rate each parent's income to determine their share of the combined award.
If a deviation of child support is warranted, it must be done only after a guideline award is determined and a reason must be provided why a guideline award is not being applied.
Calculating the Adjusted Gross Income for Child Support
Adjusted gross income is the income that was reported or should have been reported on the most recent tax returns. In addition, the CSSA authorizes the court to include additional income to be added to the adjusted gross income if warranted. Additional income includes non income producing assets, fringe benefits, and assistance from friends and family. Spousal support or maintenance is added to the recipient as adjusted gross income.
Read More: Spousal Maintenance
When appropriate, the court may disregard a party's stated income and impute income based on their earning capacity.
Deductions from Income
From the adjusted gross income, there are mandatory deductions which include the payment of maintenance or child support pursuant to a court order, unreimbursed employment expenses, FICA taxes, NYC or Yonkers taxes, and Supplemental Security Income.
After subtracting the deductions from the adjusted gross income, the balance is the adjusted gross income.
Both parent's adjusted gross income are combined together.
Apply the CSSA Guideline Amount to the Combined Parental Income
The statutory percentages are applied to the combined income in two steps. The first is to apply them to the current statutory cap of combined income, which as of October 2019 is $148,000.
- 17 % for one child
- 25% for two children
- 29% for three children
- 31% for four children
- 35% for five children
Pro Rate Each Parent's Income to Determine their Share of the Combined Award
Determine each parent's share of the combined income and apply that percentage to the CSSA combined award amount. The result is each parent's share of child support up to the first $148,000 statutory cap of combined income.
Determine Each Parent's Share of Child Support for Income over the Statutory Cap of $148,000
Determine by what amount, if any, income to use for combined income over the statutory cap. For that amount, repeat the same steps for the income over $148,000.
The parent who is providing health insurance is entitled to an offset for the premiums. The cost is allocated in a pro rata share based on incomes, either an increase if it is the custodial parent or a decrease if it is maintained by the non custodial parent.
Child Support Add-Ons
There are two mandatory add-ons to a basic support award. Out of pocket medical expenses and reasonable day care if the custodial parent is working or taking classes that will lead to work. Both are a percentage to be paid by each parent based on their pro rata share of combined income.
Call for a Free Phone Consultation or to Schedule a Low Cost Office Consultation
If you have have additional questions, contact our office to learn about your legal options for protecting your rights in any child support situation. To get your free phone consultation or to make an appointment, call (631) 864-2600. Serving clients in Suffolk, Nassau, Queens, Manhattan, Bronx, Westchester. Rockland, Orange and other surrounding counties are accepted on a case by case basis.
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