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Divorce Law

New York Rules Regarding Child Support

Calculating the Basic Child Support Amount Pursuant to the Child Support Standards Act:

In New York, the basic obligation is calculated by multiplying combined “adjusted gross parental income” by the child support percentages listed below:

The non-custodial parent (i.e., the parent with whom the child resides with less than 50% of the time) pays his or her pro rata share of the basic child support amount.  For example, if there is one child, and the combined parental income is $100,000, then the basic child support amount will be 17%, or $17.000.  If the parents’ have equal incomes, the non-custodial parent’s basic child support obligation is $8,500 (½ of $17,000).

“Adjusted” gross income is defined as gross income less certain deductions that are permitted under statute. These permitted deductions include: (a) certain unreimbursed employee business expenses; (b) maintenance paid to a spouse not a party to the current action for child support, but only if there is a court order or a properly written agreement; (c) maintenance paid to a spouse who is a party to the current action, but only if there is an existing order or a properly written agreement; (d) child support paid pursuant to a court order or a properly written agreement to a child who is not part of the pending action; (e) public assistance; (f) Supplemental Security Income; (g) New York City or Yonkers income taxes actually paid; and (h) Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes.


In addition to the child support as calculated above, the non-custodial parent also pays his or her pro-rata share of child care, medical and educational expenses. For example, if the non-custodial parent’s share of the combined income is 70%, then the non-custodial parent will be responsible for paying 70% of these expenses.  The question of whether the non-custodial parent must contribute toward private school tuition is dependent on the circumstances of a particular case.  One of the crucial factors is whether the child has attended private and/or parochial school when the parties resided together.


If either parent party wants the court to modify a child support judgment ort ordered dated on or after October 13, 2010, they must show one of the following:

  1. There has been a substantial change in circumstances since the prior order was entered; or
  2. Three years have passed since the prior order was entered, last modified or adjusted; or
  3. There has been an increase or decrease in either party’s income by 15% since the prior order was entered, last modified or adjusted.

If you are filing a petition to modify a prior child support order, you should attaché copies of prior orders and/or agreements relating to child support to your petition.  Prior to filing your petition, you should gather all relevant financial information, including documents that prove the change in income and/or financial circumstances that you believe warrant the change that you are requesting the court to make.   When you appear in court, you will need to bring a financial affidavit with you, setting forth details regarding your income, expenses, and assets. You should make three copies of that affidavit, together with your tax returns, W-2  and 1099 forms, and at last three recent pay stubs.


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