As a divorce attorney/mediator for over 35 years, I have guided many spouses
through the maze of child support.
Making sure a child is supported financially is an important component
of the divorce process.
1. What is Child Support?
Child support is financial support provided by the noncustodial parent.
It includes cash payments based on the parent's income and the needs
of the child, health insurance, payments for child care, and reasonable
health care costs not covered by health insurance.
Under New York law, parents are responsible for supporting their children
until the child is 21 years old. The state has a child support program
which can collect and distribute child support payments and enforce orders
when payments are not made. A parent, guardian, caretaker of a child,
or child who needs support can apply for these services.
2. Child Support Guidelines.
The court uses a guideline to calculate what the noncustodial parent will
pay based on the parents’ joint adjusted gross income and on the
number of children involved, after making deductions such as Medicare,
Social Security, and New York City tax. The adjusted gross income is then
multiplied by the standard guideline percentage for the number of children
• 17% for one child;
• 25% for two children;
• 29% for three children;
• 31% for four children; and
• at least 35% for five or more children.
Then childcare and extracurricular expenses is added to the total.
This formula is applied to the first $154,000.00. of joint parental income.
For combined parental income over this amount, the court may consider
either the standard guideline amount and/or other factors in determining
the child support obligation.
3. Who Pays Child Support?
All parents have a legal responsibility to support their dependent children
to the extent that they can. A parent with custody usually has most of
the day-to-day expenses of child-raising, and may be entitled to receive
child support from the other parent. This entitlement to child support
continues even if the custodial parent remarries or starts to live with
4. When Does Child Support End?
Dependent children are entitled to child support.
A dependent child is any child under the age of 21, unless the child has
married, or the child is 16 years of age or over and has voluntarily withdrawn
from parental control.
Child support might also continue after a child turns 21 years of age if
the child is unable to be self-supporting because he or she has a disability
or illness or is still going to school full-time.
5. When to Apply for Child Support?
If children are living with a parent after their parents have separated,
the parent can apply for child support. This usually happens after a separation
that leads to divorce. I often suggest filing for child support and custody
at the same time. It is important to address these issues as soon as possible.
A parent can apply for custody and support even while living separately
under the same roof after their relationship with the other parent is
over. But usually the court will not make any order for custody and support
until one parent has actually moved out.
If you have questions about child support, call me. I will be happy to
discuss the child support guidelines with you.
As a medically-trained divorce attorney and mediator, I have been skillfully
helping divorcing couples and their families for over 35 years.
My unique combination of legal and psychological training is very effective
when it comes to helping families successfully navigate the divorce process.
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic all our FREE CONSULTATIONS are conveniently
conducted virtually to reduce risk.
I look forward to speaking with you!
Continue to stay healthy and safe!
New York Divorce Attorney Lois Brenner is available to help you with all
your child support needs!
Please call to schedule your FREE consultation now.