Below is an Overview of Child Support in New York State
In New York State, Child support is financial support provided by the noncustodial parent, including:
- Cash payments (based on the parent’s income and the needs of the child)
- Health insurance for the child (medical support)
- Payments for child care, and
- Payments for reasonable health care costs that are not covered by health insurance. (https://www.childsupport.ny.gov/dcse/custodial_parent_info.html#whatis)
Who can apply for New York Child Support Services?
A petition for child support can be filed by the person or agency caring for a child; the City of New York (if the child was/is receiving public assistance); the child themselves (usually in the case of older children). An application and detailed instructions on how to apply for child support in New York can be found here.
Why did I receive papers saying that I must go to family court for child support?
Someone from the list above filed a child support petition in court and asked that you pay child support in New York. A petition is a written request submitted to the court that asks the court to do something, in this case, asks the court to establish child support payments against you.
Do I have to go to court if I receive Child Support Papers?
Yes. Not going to court could lead to the court entering what is known as a default judgment against you which means that even though you didn’t show up, the other party might still succeed in getting a child support order against the party that didn’t show up.
If I file for child support, will the family court provide me with a lawyer?
Family Court does NOT give parents a free lawyer for child support cases unless the non-custodial parent might face jail time for non-payment of support. Anyone can and should consult with a New York Family Law attorney that is experienced with New York Child support cases.
I have never been to court before, what will happen in family court for child support?
Child support cases in New York are heard in front of a Support Magistrate (similar to a Judge) who has the authority to produce an “order for child support” which directs the non-custodial parent to pay child support. The order of support directs the party paying to pay a specific amount, how often to pay the amount and where to send the payments. Generally however, before a child support order can be made, paternity has to be established. (click here for more information on paternity in New York State). Going to court can be stressful and intimidating, it is always a good idea to learn as much about the process as possible and consult with Family Law Attorney that can help guide you through the process.
How will I know how much child support will be paid?
New York State uses the “Child Support Standards Act” which is basically a guide that helps calculate how much child support should be paid. For incomes below $143,000, the court determines the gross income of the non-custodial parent then uses the following formula:
1 Child = 17% of income
2 Children = 25% of income
3 Children = 29% of income
4 Children = 31% of income
5+ Children = 35% of income
*(You can access a free New York State child support calculator here)
There is generally a minimum payment amount of at least $25 per month even if you have limited income or are on public assistance. You may also be ordered to provide and pay for health care costs or child care costs.
Jason C. Bost, Esq. is a New York State Licensed Lawyer and Child Support Attorney who understands child support and custody issues from a Father’s Perspective and has helped many clients successfully deal with these issues.