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How is child support calculated in New York?

Every parent has an obligation to protect and care for their children. When the parents do not live together, the non-custodial parent may have to pay child support in the form of cash payments, health insurance, childcare and healthcare costs not covered by the insurance. However, according to New York laws, child support payment terms must be fair.

To ensure that the child support amount is fair, courts use child support guidelines to calculate the amount. This calculation is based on the income of the parent and the number of children. For child support calculations, the court will first ascertain the gross income of the person, then deduct or add relevant taxes, Social Security and Medicare values from the amount. After these calculations, the court will then apply a standard calculation to ascertain the child support amount.

If the person has only one child, child support is 17 percent of the income, while for two children it is 25 percent income. Child support for three children is 29 percent of the person's income, 31 percent for four children and 35 percent of the income for more than four children.

The person's share of the medical and educational expenses, along with childcare costs, are added to the income percentage amount. The combined amount, share of expenses and percentage of income is considered as the basic child support amount. When the parents earn more than $141,000, other factors may be taken into consideration to ascertain child support terms. A person who receives workers compensation, disability benefits and other unemployment benefits will also have to make payments.

In certain cases, the person may also have to make back child support payments from the time the child was born. Also, if the person has health insurance for the children, such insurance will have to be made available to the child, unless it has an unreasonable cost or is not accessible to the child. However, if it is shown that the remaining income of the parent is equal to or less than the federal poverty income guidelines, the court may lower the amount.

Source: ChildSupport.NY.gov, "How much will I have to pay for child support?" accessed on Aug. 27, 2014

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