Under New York law, the Child Support Standards Act dictates the amount of child support paid by the parent who does not have physical custody, that is, the non-custodial parent. This law provides a formula to calculate the amount of child support that the non-custodial parent must pay. The Child Support Standards Act also dictates how much the non-custodial parent must pay for other items, such as health insurance, educational expenses, and childcare.
In order to calculate the amount of child support the non-custodial parent is to pay, the Court must first determine each parent’s gross income. The gross income is usually taken from the most recent tax return or from recent pay-stubs and includes salary, as well as all other types of income. Income that is “off the books” must also be included. If the “off the books” income is not conceded, the other party must prove its existence and amount in court before it will be included.
After determining the gross income of both parents, the following items are then subtracted: New York City or Yonkers Income Tax, FICA Taxes (Social Security and Medicare), and Child Support or Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) paid pursuant to a court order. If the net income of both parties is over $80,000, the amount of child support is calculated based upon only $80,000, although the Court can, and usually does, base the amount of child support upon the entire amount of net income. The resulting amount is then multiplied by the appropriate percentage from the following table:
The next and last step to determine the amount of child support the non-custodial
parent must pay is to take the resulting figure from the above table and
determine each party’s portion of the total income. For example,
if the non-custodial parent earns 70% of the combined income, the non-custodial
parent’s child support obligation will be 70% of the amount calculated.
The parents of the child can “opt out” of the Child Support Standards Act by agreeing on a higher or lower amount of child support. In order to opt out, the parents must sign a written agreement that states that the parents have been advised of the provisions of the Child Support Standards Act, the amount of child support that would be required under the Child Support Standards Act, that the deviation from the mandated amount would be in the best interest of the children, and the reasons for the deviation.
The non-custodial parent is responsible for the support of the child until the child is emancipated. A child is considered a minor until he or she reaches age 21. However, a child may be considered emancipated if he or she meets any of the following:
If child support is being automatically deducted from the non-custodial parent's salary pursuant to a court order, it will be necessary to obtain a new order from the court terminating such payments.
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