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New York Child Support Guidelines

Both parents are responsible for providing for the financial needs of their child. When there is a separation or divorce, this is accomplished through the court system with a child support order. The support order is based on the parents' income levels and the amount of time that the parents spend with the child. Child support can be ordered in the following ways:

  • Ordered during a divorce case;
  • Ordered by filing a support petition; or
  • Arranged by written agreements between the parents. A written agreement must meet certain requirements or the court can refuse to use it.

New York Child Support Guidelines History

Child support laws are determined at the state level, but are influenced by federal laws. For example, New York's child support guidelines were initially enacted to comply with federal regulatory mandates requiring each state to enact presumptive child support guidelines in exchange for federal funds for child support enforcement services.

New York Child Support Guidelines at a Glance

A thorough reading of statutory language is essential to grasping legal concepts. However, it's also useful to refer to a straightforward explanation of the law. See the chart below for a summary of New York's laws defining the state guidelines for child support and links to the relevant statutes.


Length of time parent must pay support

Under New York law, both parents must financially support the child until the child is 21 years old. If the child is under 21 and married, self supporting or in the military, then the child is considered emancipated and the parents can discontinue the support.

Income Shares Model

New York uses the income shares model to calculate child support awards. The model is based on the notion that a child should receive the same proportion of parental income that they would have received had the parents remained together. Thus, the guidelines use both parents' incomes in the calculation and the percentages are the same regardless of the parents' level of income.

Changes and Modifications of Child Support

The guidelines are presumed to be the correct amount of support to be awarded in any hearing for child support. You can overcome this presumption by a written finding that the support (as determined by the guidelines) is inappropriate or unjust under the circumstances. You can request a change in the order before it's in place. The judge will decide whether to reduce or increase the amount.

After the child support order is in place, you can file for a modification based on major changes in circumstances such as losing your job or relocation. Additionally, the law requires an automatic review for cost of living adjustments every 2 years.

The Child Support Formula

New York's guidelines are fixed percentages of gross income and vary only by the number of children, and are as follows:

  • 17% of the combined parental income for 1 child;
  • 25% of the combined parental income for 2 children;
  • 29% of the combined parental income for 3 children;
  • 31% of the combined parental income for 4 children; and
  • No less than 35% of the combined parental income for 5.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

New York Child Support Guidelines: Related Resources

Need Help Understanding Child Support Guidelines? Find an Attorney

The child support process can be daunting and confusing, but it's important to understand how it works since it affects your child's well-being. If you need help with support issues, talk to an experienced child support attorney near you.

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