New York Child Support: Who Pays and How Much?
Law Office of Barbara J. Strauss — Goshen, New York
Does joint custody mean you don't have to pay child support? If your former spouse is in arrears on their support payments, what child support enforcement options do you have? Once a child support amount has been set by the court, can it be modified? If so, how often and do you need an attorney to do that?
Our firm has been resolving these and other child support issues for clients in Orange County and the surrounding areas of New York since 1990.
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In New York, the basic child support obligation is set by determining the non-custodial parent's adjusted gross income which is generally gross income minus social security tax, minus spousal maintenance and support ordered for other children. There may be add-ons for day care, education and health care costs. Once the adjusted gross income of the non-custodial parent has been calculated, it is multiplied by the following percentages to determine the appropriate amount of child support in each case:
- One child = 17 percent
- Two children = 25 percent
- Three children = 29 percent
- Four children = 31 percent
- Five or more children = at least 35 percent, possibly more
The court can vary from the percentages where the non-custodial parent’s income is great or where it would be inappropriate or unjust to apply the percentages.
How Long Does Child Support Last?
How long child support is required varies from state to state. In New York, the age of emancipation is 21 years. When non-custodial parents and their children live in different states after divorce — the age of emancipation in the state where the child or the non-custodial parent lives may be applied. An abbreviated survey of the various laws of nearby states shows:
- Pennsylvania : When the child turns 18 or completes high school
- New Jersey : When the child turns 18, or older if the child attends college on a full time basis
- Connecticut : When the child turns 18
- Rhode Island : When the child turns 18, or, if child is still in high school, when the child turns 19, or, 90 days past graduation, whichever is first
- Massachusetts : When the child turns 18, or when the child turns 21 if the child is living with the custodial parent, or when child turns 23 if child is enrolled full-time in an educational program
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