In New York State, child support is governed by the Child Support Standards Act, also known as the CSSA. The CSSA is found both in Domestic Relations Law Section 240 and Family Court Act 413.
In New York, parents are responsible for the support of their children until they reach the age of 21.
Child support is calculated by taking the combined parental income up to $136,000, deducting FICA taxes, (Medicare and Social Security only), and multiplying it by a support percentage based on the number of children the parties have:
17% of the combined parental income for one child
25% of the combined parental income for two children
29% of the combined parental income for three children
31% of the combined parental income for four children
35% of the combined parental income for five or more children
A parent’s presumptive, basic child support obligation is determined by multiplying that person’s pro rata share of the combined parental income by the support percentage. For example:
John and Jane have two children. John earns $50,000 per year and paid $3,250 in FICA taxes. Jane earns $35,000 per year and paid $2,275 in FICA taxes. Their combined parental income for child support purposes is $79,475 ($46,750 plus $32,725), and their support percentage is 25% for two children. $79,475 x 0.25 = $19,868.75 (this is their combined, basic child support obligation).
As John earns 59% of the combined income ($46,750/$79,475), and Jane earns 41% of the combined income ($32,725/$79,475), John’s basic support obligation is $11,722.56 per year ($19,868.75 x 0.59), and Jane’s basic support obligation is $8,146.19 per year ($19,868.75 x 0.41).
If Jane is the primary custodial parent, John would have a presumptive, basic child support payment obligation to Jane of $11,722.56 per year.
Michael D. Weinstein, Esq.
Family Law, Divorce Attorney