Who decides the amount of New York child support payments?
New York law outlines that parents can make their own decisions on supporting their children. The state provides broad parameters allowing parents to make decisions on child support.
It is not necessary for parents to go to court to sort out custody and child support payments. However, not all cases can be settled without going to court. Parents can come up with their own tailored solutions. Not all court decisions need to be abided by in New York child support cases.
Parents that cannot agree on a child support amount may go to court. A judge is then responsible to come up with an amount for the non-custodial parent to pay to the custodial parent.
NY child support calculator
The Child Support Standards Act in the state of New York requires that a non-custodial parent pay to the custodial parent child support in a percentage.
- If there’s one child that is generally 17 percent of your gross income, less ficca, which is Social Security tax.
- If there’s two children, it’s twenty five percent of your gross income.
- If it’s three children, it’s twenty nine percent of your gross income.
- If it’s four children, it’s thirty two percent of your gross income.
- If it’s beyond four children, it’s up to the discretion of the court and it’s going to be over thirty two percent.
How much child support you pay is based on your tax returns, your TEUs, your paycheck stubs. Those are all things that the court is going to examine. In addition to the basic child support obligations that you are required to pay, there are other elements of child support that are called statutory add ons.
What are the statutory add ons in NYS child support?
There are expenses associated with child care for when the custodial parent is either working or going to school. That doesn’t mean that you have to pay for child care when the parent who has custody of the kids is going out on a date or on a weekend to go shopping or something like, it is purely child care that is for purposes of school or work.
Another statutory add-on is the children are required to be insured through health insurance. You are going to be required to pay for reimbursed medical expenses. And then there is also a statutory add ons for purposes of enhanced educational experiences.
How do New York courts decide how much child support should be paid?
New York courts apply a formula according to the state’s child support guidelines. The courts must determine the gross monthly income of each parent. Income includes:
- Salaries and wages
- Social security
- Veteran’s benefits
- Unemployment benefits
A parent with child support obligations for another child with have the payments subtracted from their income. Both parents’ incomes are added together to determine the final New York child support amount.
Once the incomes of both parents are tallied, the figure is multiplied by a percentage:
- For one child – 17%
- For two children – 25%
- For three children – 29%
- For four children – 31%
- For five or more children – 35%
Once combined incomes are multiplied by one of the percentages outlined, the number is divided by each parent’s income. The non-custodial parent’s share that must be paid to the custodial parent is then created. New York courts then decide if the formula is fair to both parties. Monthly payments can then be adjusted based on whether or not child support lowers the non-custodial parent’s income by too much money.
Child support costs for Private School in New York
If you have children enrolled in private school or preschool or something of that nature, the court is not going to require the kids to be taken out of preschool or private school. They’re going to keep them in that scholastic environment while the case is pending.
The kids are going to have as little impact on the divorce or separation as possible. And the courts are going to make sure that they stay in place for that. Your statutory add ons are paid in a fashion that is proportionate to your income. If you are the only one in the family that is making money, you’re going to have to pay one hundred percent.
If you and the custodial parent are both making the same amount of money, you’re both earning 50 50, then your expenses associated with it are going to be fifty percent for things like health insurance on reimburse medical expenses and child care. The same goes for college education.
Oftentimes, if there’s a divorce or you’re splitting up and the children are really young, college expenses can be too speculative at that point in time. If you have really young children, if mom and dad have both gone to college, chances are the children are going to go to college. So what you should do is talk about that and address it now rather than having to get back into court at a later point in time.
NY child support for college
When it comes to college expenses, there is a dollar for dollar credit on your basic child support obligations for expenses that you pay to a university for room and board, because basic child support is designed to pay for food, clothing and shelter.
Most of the time, the college expenses are going to be capped at the prevailing rate for University in NYS. However, if mom or dad have both gone to an Ivy League school the expectations will be that the children are going to go to an Ivy League school. In this scenario the amount will of course be considerably higher.
Going to Court for New York child support
After you arrive at family court, you will need to go to the waiting room near where your case will be heard. When you arrive at the waiting room, look for the list of cases on the wall outside the hearing room and make sure that your name is on the list. Your case may not be called in the order listed, so please be patient.
Each waiting room has uniformed court officers who are responsible for security during the hearings and the safety of everyone in the building code. Officers also announced to people in the waiting room when it is time to check in after the court officer makes the announcement, you should check in. And when you check in and tell the court officer if you need an interpreter or if you have an order of protection against the other person.
We do not recommend that you bring your child into the hearing room, but if you do have your child with you, you may want to consider taking them to the children’s center located in this building. If you don’t know where the children’s center is located, ask the court officer for directions, but make sure that you have checked in first before you leave.
The children’s center is free of charge and provides a safe and fun environment. When it is time for your case to be heard, the court officer will call your name. If your name is called and you are not in the waiting room, you may have to wait longer or your case may be decided without you or even dismissed.
If you have to leave the waiting area, tell the court officer and make sure you return as quickly as possible. Do not leave for more than a few minutes. Also, please be considerate of others who are waiting. If you need to make a cell phone call or talk with others, please talk quietly so that you do not disturb those around you. Be patient and stay in the waiting area until your name is called.
New York child support hearing document checklist
You will need to being the following documents to the NY child support hearing
- copies of most recent pay stubs
- recent tax return
- notarized financial disclosure affidavit
- orders of support for other children
- receipts for any child support already paid.
- copies of the child’s birth certificate
- voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form
- marriage license or divorce decree
- proof of what you paid for
- medical insurance records
- rent record
- food receipts
- clothing receipts
- child care receipts
- if you filed the petition, you should also have your completed affidavit of service form with you to show the support magistrate
- if you don’t have some of these documents, you should tell the support the magistrate, which documents you don’t have when you get into your hearing.
So let’s review the other people who will be at your hearing, a support magistrate is the person in charge of the hearing and is responsible for listening to both sides, looking at all of the information provided and following the law to make a decision about the case. You’ve already been introduced to the court officers.
A clerk sits near the supporting magistrate to prepare the paperwork for the court order and also to tape record the hearing. The petitioner is the person who filed the petition. The respondent is the person against whom the case was filed. Both parties may hire an attorney if they wish the attorneys would sit next to their client if the child in the case is receiving public assistance. The petition is filed by the Department of Social Services, also referred to as the SS.
In public assistance cases. The SS always has an attorney present. This attorney represents the SS, not the custodial parent. DSW files the petition so they can get the non-custodial parent to repay the government for the assistance the child is receiving in public assistance cases, a petition for paternity and or child support must be filed. But the custodial parent is not responsible for filing the petition files. The custodial parent appears only as a witness for the SS.
NYS child support hearing rules
Finally, you should be aware of some rules you will need to follow when you are in the hearing room. You cannot chew gum or wear a hat. You need to speak clearly and loudly so that everyone in the room can hear you. You should not interrupt when other people are talking, you should not swear or curse.
You should direct all comments and questions to the support magistrate, not to anyone else. And if you have any questions, you should wait to ask them until the support magistrate indicates it is your turn to speak now that you know the people involved in the hearing and the rules.
How does a child support hearing work in NY
The New York child support hearing will begin after the court officer has walked to the parties, to the hearing room and directed them to their places. Both parties have the right to request an adjournment in order to hire an attorney. Or you may waive the right to counsel and speak for yourselves.
NYS child support magistrate
An NYS child support magistrate can hear four types of petitions, the first type of paternity petition seeks to establish the legal father of the child when a child was born to parents who were not married to each other. It is very important to tell the support magistrate if the mother was married to anyone at the time the child was born, either party may request DNA testing at the paternity hearing or the man may choose to admit that he is the father.
DNA testing for child support in New York State
Depending on a variety of factors, the court may issue an order for the parties to appear at an approved lab and submit a DNA sample. If they request for DNA testing is granted, the case will be adjourned. After the DNA test is complete, the parties return to court, where the support magistrate reviews the findings of the DNA test.
If the court finds that the DNA test indicates that the man is not the father, then the paternity petition is dismissed. If the DNA test indicates that the man is the biological father and the man still denies that he is the father the court will hold a hearing.
If the court determines that the man is the father, it will issue an order of affiliation which declares that the man is the legal father of the child. After an order affiliation is issued, the father has the right to pursue custody or visitation with the child.
New York child support petition
The second type of petition is a support petition which seeks to establish an amount of money that the non-custodial parent will need to pay until the child turns 21 or becomes emancipated. That amount will include money for basic support, plus a share of medical and child care expenses. The court may also order the non-custodial parent to pay other expenses, such as private or college education costs. All Divorce in New York with Children involved will include child support.
In addition, the support magistrate may order that the child be enrolled in one of the parent’s health insurance plans or make other arrangements for health insurance coverage. The third type of petition is a modification petition, which can be filed by either party when there has been a legally significant change in their circumstances since the last order was issued, or when the basic needs of the child are not being met by the support order.
What happens if I lose my job and child support New York
It is important to know that when either parent voluntarily decreases their income, for example, quits their job or becomes incarcerated, the court may find that this parent is not entitled to a modification of the support order. A parent who does lose their job but must demonstrate to the court that they have looked for a new job. However, if non-custodial parents do experience a significant change in their circumstances, or if there has been a change in the custody of the child, they should filed a modification petition as soon as possible so that they do not get behind in their payments.
New York child support enforcement
The fourth type of petition is a violation petition. This petition is filed either by the custodial parent or DFS when the non-custodial parent does not pay child support.
If the non-custodial parent has not pay child support, the support magistrate may enforce the order in a number of ways, including suspending professional or a driver’s license, issuing a money judgment or even jailing the non-custodial parent for up to six months.
NYS child support guidelines
To calculate the amount of money the non-custodial parent will be ordered to pay, the child support magistrate would look at a number of things, including the number of children involved in the case, both parents incomes, whether the child is covered under one of the parent’s medical insurance plans and whether there are other costs for the child, such as child care, education and medical costs not covered by health insurance.
The child support magistrate in New York Family Court uses the support guidelines to determine the amount the non-custodial parent will pay for basic support. The support guidelines set a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income to be paid for basic support. The percentages vary depending on the number of children for which support is being requested. The percentages are 17 percent for one child. Twenty five percent for two children. Twenty nine percent for three children. Thirty one percent for four children. And at least thirty five percent for five or more children.
In addition to the amount based on the guidelines, both parents may be ordered based on their incomes to share the cost of expenses related to child care, educational and on reimbursed medical expenses. After the NY child support magistrate determines the amount to be paid for support, he or she calculates the amount of retroactive support.
Retroactive child support in New York
This is the amount that would be owed if the payments had started on the date the petition was filed or for public assistance cases. The date the child began to receive public assistance to repeat the total amount that should have been paid starting on the previous date is called retroactive support.
The child support magistrate will also credit the non-custodial parent with any money paid under a temporary support order or a previous order. So the non-custodial parent should bring receipts for any support. Already paid copies of the Child Support booklets are available in the hearing room, and the booklets show how much support is due for each level of income. If you are still confused about how the amount will be calculated, please pick up a copy and review it.
There are some loopholes in Child support in New York and it is worth you knowing about them in case your ex partner tries any illegal tactics during the child support process.
Paperwork from New York State child support hearings
Before you leave your hearing, you will be handed paperwork that will tell you your account number, how much you will have to pay the date that your first payment is due, where to send your payments and other useful information.
If the order is a temporary order, you will also be given a slip of paper with the date of your next hearing. Be sure to return to court on that date or the case can be decided without you. Keep all the information you receive at your hearing. Read your court order carefully to make sure that you do not violate the order.
If you are employed, the Child Support Agency will send a notice to your employer telling them how much you owed and when it is due.
To make sure that you get credit for each payment, all payments should include your complete name, your child support account number and your address.
New York child support agency
The main thing to know is that the child support agency is not part of family court and is a separate agency that works to ensure that the children get the money that the court ordered in full and on time. The NYS Child Support Agency has the authority to enforce the court order through a variety of ways, including issuing an income execution to your employer.
The income execution tells your employer to deduct child support from your paycheck and to send in the payment on your behalf. You should also know that if you stop paying your child support, the Child Support Agency can take various actions to collect the arrears, the amount that’s passed.
Actions taken by the New York child support agency may include
- suspending your driver’s license
- cancelling your passport
- intercepting state and federal tax refunds
- diverting lottery winnings
- taking money directly from your bank account
- seizing property
- confiscating and selling cars and other physical assets
Before any of these actions are taken, non-custodial parents will be sent a notice describing when the action will be taken and what can be done to avoid the action.