Understanding New York’s child support requirements

| Mar 17, 2020 | Child Support

For divorcing couples with children, determining custody and child support payments can be a contentious issue. In New York, it is common for a judge to grant one parent with primary physical guardianship.

After deciding who gets custody, the courts must determine the noncustodial parent’s child support responsibilities. A judge will look at several income factors when determining obligation amounts.

Income cap

The New York Child Support Standards Chart gives parents an approximate idea of their child support payments based on their income. New York’s combined parental income cap is $154,000 as of March 2020. This cap means that the law may not require parents to factor in any income exceeding that amount. For example, if each parent makes over $100,000 per year, the noncustodial parent’s additional $23,000 may not factor into child support payments. The law allows a judge to consider calculating income that exceeds this amount, but it does not require it.

Child support percentages

New York courts also factor in the number of children who need support when determining financial obligations. The Support Standards Chart also provides parents a list of percentages:

  • One child: 17%
  • Two children: 25%
  • Three children: 29%
  • Four children: 31%
  • Five children: no less than 35%

Income changes

Child support does not automatically increase or decrease in the event of a job change. One of the parents must request a modification. According to FindLaw, a parent’s income must involuntarily increase or decrease by 15% or more before the other can ask for an adjustment. For example, if a noncustodial parent’s income increases significantly, the custodial parent must petition for an official court modification to increase child support payments.