What You Need to Know About the Child Support Standards Act

Child support in New York is based on state Child Support Standards. The state releases a new chart on or before April 1 every year, and the tables are used to determine annual support obligations. These are the most recent figures issued for 2013:

  • Combined Parental Income Amount: $136,000
  • Self-Support Reserve: $15,512
  • Poverty Income Guidelines Amount (single person): $11,490

How is child support calculated?

The law states that basic child support is set at a fixed percentage of parental income, depending on the number children:

  • One child = 17 percent
  • Two children = 25 percent
  • Three children = 29 percent
  • Four children = 31 percent
  • Five or more children = no less than 35 percent

How much of my income does the judge consider in calculating child support?

The percentages above are applied to almost all of your earnings up to $136,000, with deductions for Medicare, FICA and local tax deductions, if any. Earnings include workers compensation benefits, disability payments, unemployment insurance benefits, Social Security benefits, pension payments and many other forms of income. You get to take a deduction for preexisting child or spousal support paid based on a court order or written agreement.

After $136,000, the judge has discretion whether or not to use the percentage guidelines.

Are there other expenses I must pay beyond basic child support?

A child support order must also include medical support, such as payment of health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket medical expenses for the child. Additionally, if the custodial parent is working or in school, then both parents are required to pay their pro rate share of child care expenses. Educational expenses of a child may also be considered by the Court.

Attorney Lauren B. Abramson has 25 years of experience as a divorce lawyer and can help ensure your child support order is fair according to New York law.  By: Lauren B. Abramson

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