Child support is financial support provided by the noncustodial parent (parent who does not have physical and/or legal custody of the child). Child support includes:
- Cash payments (based on the parent’s income and the needs of the child)
- Health insurance for the child (medical support)
- Payments for child care, and
- Payments for reasonable health care costs that are not covered by health insurance.
Family Court officials (Support Magistrates) determine the amount of child support the noncustodial parent will pay. Under New York State law, parents are responsible for supporting their child until the child is 21 years old.
The court uses a standard guideline to calculate what the noncustodial parent will pay, based on the noncustodial parent’s adjusted gross income and on the number of children involved. The court first determines the noncustodial parent’s gross income, and then makes certain deductions (including Medicare, Social Security, and New York City or Yonkers tax) to establish the noncustodial parent’s adjusted gross income. The court then multiplies the adjusted gross income by the standard guideline percentage for the number of children. These percentages are as follows:
- 17% for one child
- 25% for two children
- 29% for three children
- 31% for four children
- at least 35% for five or more children.
Then the noncustodial parent’s share of child care, medical, and educational expenses is added to the income percentage amount. The combined amount, percentage of income plus share of expenses, is the basic child support amount.
For a combined parental income amount over $141,000, the court may consider either the standard guideline percentages and/or other factors in setting the full child support obligation.