Your Family Matters

How does child support work in New York?

| Mar 22, 2021 | Blog

Both parents have a responsibility to provide financial support when they divorce or end their relationship. New York uses a child support formula to determine a fair amount of support for each parent to provide depending on custody time. 

Review the facts about child support determinations in the state when facing this situation. 

Applying for support

To start the process, parents can visit the Child Support Enforcement Unit online or in their area. When either parent files a petition, CSEU will determine the monthly support amount, notify both parents, and administer the collection and distribution process. CSEU also helps parents find their child’s noncustodial parent or establish paternity if applicable.  

Calculating child support

Updated annually by April 1, the New York Child Support Standards Chart indicates how much the noncustodial parent should pay in support each month based on the family’s annual income, how much children the parents share, and other factors. Families who earn below the federal poverty level or more than $154,000 a year receive special consideration outside the chart. 

Based on the chart, noncustodial parents generally pay by percentage of combined parental income as follows: 

  • 17% for one child 
  • 25% for two children 
  • 29% for three children 
  • 31% for four children 
  • 35% for five or more children 

When either parent wants to modify child support, he or she must file a court petition. Otherwise, parents in New York must pay child support until their child reaches age 21, or if he or she is at least 16 and enters the military, marries or becomes emancipated.