The laws governing child support in New York are different from that of other states. NY child support law sets how much the child maintenance should be, and the duration of such payments, plus it seeks to guide parents in exceptional cases such as deviation, support for disabled children, and retroactive support.
As you may already know, child support (or child maintenance) is a continuous monetary payment made by a spouse to another spouse, guardian, caregiver, or the state for the upkeep of children after a divorce or separation.
The person who is required to pay child support is referred to as the “obligor,” whereas the person who is eligible to receive child maintenance is referred to as the “obligee.”
What is NY Child Support Laws?
New York State Child Support laws are legal provisions that regulate the payment of financial support from one parent to another for the benefit of their children. These laws are intended to ensure that children receive the financial support they need to meet their basic needs such as food, clothing, and housing, even if their parents are no longer living together.
The child support laws in New York are designed to ensure that children have access to the financial resources they need for their basic needs. The amount of child support that a parent is required to pay is determined by a formula set forth in the New York State child support guidelines.
The New York State child support laws also provide for enforcement mechanisms to ensure that parents who are ordered to pay child support actually do so. The New York State Child Support Enforcement Unit is responsible for enforcing child support orders and has the power to garnish wages, seize tax refunds, and take other enforcement actions to collect unpaid child support.
What does Child Support Cover in New York?
Child support payments in NY are meant to cover the following expenses:
- Basic needs: food, clothing, and shelter
- Medical and dental care
- Child care expenses
- Educational expenses
- Transportation costs
Child Support When One Parent Lives Outside New York
To enforce child support orders beyond state boundaries, each state has to have the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) in place. New York is no exception.
The UIFSA ensures that child support processes and procedures are consistent across states. When one spouse lives in another state where the New York courts do not have the authority to adjudicate or enforce orders, UIFSA reduces these bottlenecks.
As a result of the UIFSA, a NY child support attorney can take legal action against a spouse who now lives in another state to enforce a child support order.
How is Child Maintenance Calculated In New York?
The calculation of child support in New York State is based on the income of both parents, the number of children, and the amount of time each parent spends with the children. Here are the steps for how child support is calculated in New York:
- Determine Gross Income: Gross income is the total income earned from all sources before taxes and deductions, including salaries, wages, overtime pay, bonuses, commissions, rental income, and any other sources of income.
- Consider Child Support Guidelines: New York State has established child support guidelines that provide an estimate of how much child support should be paid based on the parent’s combined income and the number of children.
- Take into account the Basic Child Support Obligation: The basic child support obligation is determined by using the child support guidelines, which take into account the parents’ combined income, the number of children, and the amount of time each parent spends with the children.
- Consider Additional Expenses: The basic child support obligation may be increased to cover additional expenses, such as child care expenses, health insurance costs, and extraordinary expenses, such as education costs.
- Finalize the Child Support Amount: Once the basic child support obligation and additional expenses are determined, the final child support amount is established. The final child support amount will be divided between the parents based on their respective incomes, with the higher-earning parent paying a larger share of the support amount.
The child support amount may be reviewed and adjusted periodically to take into account changes in the parent’s income, the children’s needs, and other factors.
New York Child Support Calculator or Worksheet
While a child support calculator can be used to estimate child support, it is not a guarantee of the final amount of child maintenance that the judge will order. A child support worksheet is a form used by the NY courts (or negotiating spouses) to approximate the basic child support obligation of the parents.
Regardless of which approach you use, spouses can decide on a child support sum and amend the worksheet accordingly to ensure it accurately reflects their agreement. Both establish a presumption duty to pay child support.
The final decision on the amount of child support is made by the administrative law judge, administrator, or court.
How New York Guidelines are Applied
The NY court will use child support guidelines, which are law-based and are sometimes known simply as “Guidelines. Guidelines establish a fundamental minimum amount of child maintenance, from which the court can differ after considering a variety of considerations.
The criteria are believed to be rational, and a decision of support that conforms to the guidelines is believed to be in the best interest of the child,” according to the guidelines.
The New York Guidelines are based on Net Monthly Income. The court also will employ one of two methods after determining Net Monthly Income:
1. The first method applies if an obligor’s net monthly income is less than $7,500.00. The judge will consider the number of children in the household who are the subject of the petition in this case (note that a different calculation applies if an obligor has children in two different households).
2. The second method applies if an obligor’s net monthly income is more than $7,500.00.
Gross Income Included in Calculating Child Maintenance
For child support calculation purposes, gross income includes:
- all wages and salary, including commissions, military pay, tips, overtime, and bonuses
- self-employment income
- interest and dividends
- net rental income from property the parent owns
Even jobless parents are likely to have some sources of income, like:
- severance pay
- unemployment benefits
- retirement benefits
- veterans’ benefits
- disability benefits, or
- workers’ compensation awards.
A NY family court judge may also allocate an income value to parents who do not currently have income-earning employment (like a second house). If a jobless parent inherits assets that can be sold, for instance, the judge may include the property’s market value as a part of such parent’s income.
Where parents willfully go unemployed or underemployed in order to avoid paying child support, judges may infer (assign) income based on what they are supposed to be earning.
Net Income for NY Guidelines
Remove the following costs from the total gross income to get the parent’s net income for paying child support in New York:
- Social Security taxes, or any mandated retirement plan contributions if the parent does not pay those taxes.
- Income taxes, both federal and state (based on the tax rate for a single person claiming one exemption)
- union dues
- The NY court has ruled the parent to pay the child’s health and dental insurance premiums, as well as additional medical bills.
Parents who have already paid child support for another kid or children (from a previous relationship) may be eligible for a refund.
Is Medical Health Insurance Part of Child Support in New York?
In New York, medical health insurance is typically considered a part of child support. The cost of providing health insurance coverage for the child is typically included in the child support order and is divided between the parents according to their respective incomes.
Whereas the noncustodial parent is presumed to provide coverage, this can readily be transferred to the other parent if it makes good sense.
For instance, suppose the custodial parent’s employer offers healthcare insurance for the dependent but the noncustodial parent does not.
Factors New York Courts Consider Before Ordering Maintenance
The following factors must be considered by the court when determining whether New York Family Code applies:
- The age of the child and needs; the parents’ ability to assist
- Financial resources available to the child
- For a set period of time, you have custody and access to a child.
- An increase or decrease in the obligee’s earnings or income due to the obligee’s property and assets
- Childcare expenses incurred by either parent in order to keep a job
- any other children under the care of either party
- Any other children under the care of either party
- What kind of alimony or spousal maintenance is being paid or received;
- Obligor or obligee receives an automobile, house, or other benefits from his or her employer or business entity.
- The parties or the child’s special education, health care, or other expenses
- The cost of traveling to obtain custody of and access to a child.
- Cash flow from any estate and assets, including real estate, personal property, and business property, can be positive or negative.
How to Challenge or Modify Child Support Order
To challenge or modify a child support order in New York, you can follow the following steps:
- Consult an attorney: If you want to challenge a child support order, it’s recommended to seek legal counsel from a family law attorney. They can guide you through the process and help you understand your rights.
- File a Motion: You can file a motion to modify a child support order with the Family Court in the county where the original order was issued.
- Provide Evidence: In your motion, you must provide evidence that there has been a significant change in circumstances. Examples of significant changes include loss of job, increase in salary or a change in the needs of the child.
- Attend a Hearing: The court will schedule a hearing to review the evidence and make a determination on the request to modify the child support order.
- Final Order: If the court grants your motion, a final order will be issued modifying the child support order. If the motion is denied, the original order will remain in effect.
Steps to Collect Child Support in New York
Getting a child support order in place is only half the struggle in New York. You’ll also have to collect the money itself. A noncustodial parent is responsible for paying the full amount of child maintenance per month as imposed by the court. Here are the steps for getting child support in NY
1. Open a Child Support Case
Complete a child support application with your local child support agency/office
2. Locate the Other Parent
To begin the child maintenance procedure in NY, the child support services (CSS) office will use the information provided by the applying parent, as well as information gathered from other sources, to try to locate the other parent.
3. Establish Parentage
It’s critical to establish a legitimate relationship with the child when the other parent has been located. The state will assist you in locating sufficient means. Parents can choose to acknowledge their parentage voluntarily or organize a genetic screening.
4. Establish a Child Support Order
A New York child support order specifies how much the other parent should pay and includes details such as the payment schedule and provisions for the child’s health insurance.
5. Set Up Payment
Deducting child maintenance from a parent’s paycheck and transferring the money to the other parent or guardian is the most typical method of payment. It’s a simple way to make and track child support payments.
6. Enforce the Support Order
Your NY child support services will enforce the child support order if the noncustodial parent does not pay the full amount or does not pay any. Exposing overdue child support payments to credit bureaus, intercepting income tax refunds, and Withholding child maintenance from unemployment or worker’s compensation benefits are examples of other enforcement measures.
7. Review the Order
Three years after the order is issued, either parent can request their local child support office to revise it. They can ask for a reassessment sooner than three years if a parent’s situation has changed significantly, such as loss of employment or imprisonment.
New York Child Support Services Office, Number, and Login Portal
Office – New York State Department of Child Support Services (NYS DCSS)
115 Chrystie St, New York,
Phone Number – +1 212-334-7654
Online Login Portal – https://www.childsupport.ny.gov/DCSE/secure/Login_input
Retroactive Child Support and Arrears
In New York, failing to pay child support orders can result in several consequences, including:
- Wage Garnishment: The New York State Child Support Enforcement Agency (NYSCSEA) has the authority to garnish the wages of individuals who have not paid their child support. The amount of wage garnishment can range from 50% to 60% of an individual’s disposable income.
- Property Seizure: The NYSCSEA can also seize property, such as bank accounts, cars, and other assets, to collect unpaid child support.
- Credit Report: Unpaid child support can also be reported to credit bureaus, negatively affecting an individual’s credit score.
- Driver’s License Suspension: The NYSCSEA can request that the Department of Motor Vehicles suspend an individual’s driver’s license for failing to pay child support.
- Passport Denial: The NYSCSEA can also notify the U.S. State Department of individuals who owe child support, potentially leading to the denial of their passports.
- Incarceration: In severe cases, individals who have failed to pay child support can be arrested and incarcerated.
In order to enforce retroactive child support payments in NY, the custodial parent should do the following:
1. The custodial parent can request retroactive child support payments from the noncustodial parent through the court.
2. The custodial parent should contact their local child support enforcement unit (CSEU) and provide necessary information such as the identity of the noncustodial parent, proof of paternity, and other relevant documents.
3. The CSEU will then initiate a court case against the noncustodial parent and obtain a court order requiring them to pay retroactive child support payments.
4. The noncustodial parent will then be required to pay the requested amount of retroactive child support payments in accordance with the court order.
5. If the noncustodial parent fails to pay the retroactive child support payments, the CSEU can take additional enforcement actions such as wage garnishment, seizing tax refunds, placing liens on property, or suspending the noncustodial parent’s driver’s license.
If you feel the arrears are being demanded wrongly, you can learn how to get child support arrears dismissed HERE.
How to Pay Child Maintenance in New York
In New York, parents can pay child maintenance in a variety of ways, as long as your order doesn’t state otherwise:
- by debit or credit card,
- bank transfer
- direct deposit
- income withholding, or
- auto-draft from a bank account.
How to Check your Child Support Payment History in NY
When there are disagreements between the parents and a need to confirm how much money is owed, child support payment records are extremely beneficial.
When Does Child Support End in New York?
The New York court “may order that one or both parents support a child until:
- the child is 18 years or finishes high school (whichever comes last),
- the child emancipates by getting married,
- the child’s disabilities are removed, or
- the child dies.
Nevertheless, if the judge determines that the child is disabled (physically or mentally), the child can receive support perpetually.
How Does NY Child Support Work if one Parent Has no Job?
New York child support is based on the income of both parents. If one parent does not have a job, the court will consider their income potential when determining the amount of child support.
The court may also consider the parent’s assets, and may impute income to that parent based on the parent’s earning potential. The court will also consider the financial needs of the child and the standard of living that the child would have enjoyed had the parents not separated or divorced.
Is Child Support Tax Deductible in New York?
NO. In New York, child support payments are neither taxable to the recipient nor tax-deductible by the payer as stated by the IRS. Don’t include child support payments when calculating your gross income to see whether you have to file a tax return.
However, either parent may be eligible for a dependency exemption per child. If the parents can’t agree on who receives the exemption, the judge will set out the terms in a court order.
Getting a Skilled New York Child Support Attorney
If you are involved in a family law matter in New York, you may have a lot more questions than answers at this moment. You are not alone; Correspondence with members has shown that using the services of specialized child support attorneys saves a lot of hassles and most importantly, ensures you come out as a winner for you and your kid.
If you need to fight your child maintenance cause in NY with confidence, then you’ll need attorneys that are both empathetic and strong.
Luckily, we have compiled a database of these expert child support lawyers and made them available for the convenience of our members. You can reach them at the click of a button for legal advice and representation on child maintenance.
New York Resource
- New York Child Adoption Guidelines
- New York Child Custody and Visitation Guidelines
- New York Child Support Guidelines
- New York Divorce Guidelines
- New York Marital Property Guidelines
- New York Spousal Support Guidelines
- How to Check New York Child Support Payment History
- New York Child Support Calculator
- New York Grants and Assistance for Single Mothers
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