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New York's formula for determining child support obligations

When it comes to child support in the state of the New York, the awarding of it is guided by The Child Support Standards Act. It was passed on Sept. 15, 1989 to standardize the way in which these payments would be calculated. The intention of this child support formula was to ultimately provide children with a standard living not all that different from what they would experience had their parents remained together.

A standard child support award involves taking a pre-determined percentage of a the non-custodial parent's income based on the number of children he or she is responsible for. In this case, the scale for a single child starts at 17 percent, two children at 25 percent, three children at 29 percent, four children at 31 percent and five or more children at least 35 percent of that parent's income.

This percentage-oriented formula is based on a parental income of $143,000 or less, before Medicare, FICand tax deductions are taken. It should also be noted that for the purposes of the child support formula, workers' compensation, social security to include disability payments, and pensions are all considered income that may been subject to being withheld to cover child support obligations.

In addition to the aforementioned, the non-custodial parent is subject to being ordered to contribute to medical, childcare and other educational expenses for the child. This includes having to pay not only his or her own portion for health insurance and co-pays, but also a portion of the cost of childcare when the custodial parent is at work or school, and educational expenses such as uniforms and extracurriculars.

This all being said, state law protects low-income non-custodial parents. A parent with an income below the Federal Poverty Level (it was $11,880 in 2016) or the New York Self-Support Reserve (it was $16,038 in 2016) thresholds is subject to a $25 and $50 per month obligation respectively.

Although this formula is utilized in New York in determining support obligations of a non-custodial parent, there are some instances in which a judge will deviate from this scale depending on the circumstances of a given case. If you are being asked to provide child support for your child and you want to have your rights protected, an experienced attorney can help.

Source: NYC Human Resources Administration, "Child support calculator," accessed Jan. 03, 2017

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