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How are child support payments determined in New York?

When parents in New York go through a divorce, child support is one of the important factors that they will have to consider. In general, the courts will determine the amount of child support to be paid on a regular basis. The court refers to set guidelines that consider an individual's annual earnings. After determining the person's adjusted gross income, they use a sliding scale based on the number of children. The rate moves from 17 percent for one child to at 35 percent for five or more children.

The amount of child support paid depends on more than the regular support amount determined by the courts. Any payments that were missed must be caught up. Additionally, parents are expected to cover uninsured medical expenses, child care and education expenses in addition to the monthly support payment.

When determining the levels, the courts tried to choose percentages that would be realistic for people with smaller incomes. It is believed that this type of sliding scale also takes into account how much money would go towards a child's care if both parents lived in the same household. The courts are able to award a lower amount if the income left to the parent after child support would fall below the federal poverty level. Individuals receiving Social Security, disability payments or unemployment payments are still expected to make regular child support payments.

An individual who is going through a divorce may benefit from the services of an attorney. If the child support payments will create a hardship for the parent, then an attorney can present that information and any relevant evidence to the court when requesting support modifications.

Source: OTDA, "Noncustodial Parent Information", November 17, 2014

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