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How is a child support order amount determined?

Seeking child support may seem like a confusing thing. There can certainly be a vast difference in what is ordered and how much is actually needed to fully meet the needs of a child. New York, like most other states, does have very specific guidelines concerning child support; however, special circumstances may call for more or less.

The state has set percentages of income that are used to determine the bare minimum child support payment amount. The percentage changes based on the number of children between parents. Currently, these percentages range from 17 percent for one child to 35 percent for five plus children. The amount determined by these numbers should go toward providing for basic needs.

There are those who may request that medical coverage, educational costs, child care and any other extra expenses also be included in a support order. These may be added; however, the income of each parent is typically taken into account before an amount is set. Even if extras are included, child support is not meant to leave the non-custodial parent with nothing for himself or herself. At the end of the day, the order of support should be fair for his or her economic circumstances and for the needs of the child.

Parents in New York, whether going through a divorce or seeking support from a former partner, can use the basic guidelines to get an idea of how much child support may be ordered. Legal assistance may prove beneficial in successfully obtaining a support order that is sufficient for basic needs and, possibly, provides for any extras. As circumstances change, further help in seeking a support order modification is also available.

Source:, "Noncustodial Parent Information: How much will I have to pay for child support?", Accessed on April 21, 2015

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