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FAQ Child Support

Child Support FAQ

In New York State, child support is determined by the Child Support Standards Act. the law sets forth formulas and factors the court may consider in determining support. To analyze your particular situation, go to childsupport.ny.gov and/or nycourts.gov.

 

Generally, the parent who has the majority of the custodial time is legally defined as the “custodial parent” and the person entitled to receive child support from the other parent. In New York, whoever has the majority of overnights with the child will be the primary custodial parent for child support purposes. If there is a shared custodial schedule, and the child spends 50 percent of his or her time in each household, the court will analyze each parent’s income. The parent with the greater income will be deemed the “non-custodial parent” and be ordered to pay support to the lower-income parent or “custodial parent.” Under this scenario, the court has the discretion to adjust child support to an amount less than the full application of the law due to the shared parenting time schedule.

Remarriage does not affect support orders or judgments. If there is a modification of support sought after remarriage, the new spouse’s income must be disclosed as income for the household. However, it is not used in the calculation of the parent’s support obligation. If one spouse remarries and the income of their household doubles, that does not mean the child support will increase. The new spouse (or step-parent) does not have a legal responsibility to support the child.

Remarriage could affect custody arrangements since the change in household composition  will impact the child. Every family has its own unique set of dynamics and circumstances. The addition of a step-parent and possibly step-children is a significant change for most families. Whether it is positive, negative or a combination of both depends on the family.

In custody matters, there is no legal authority to make a custody order once the child reaches the age of 18 years. In child support matters, parents are responsible to support their child until the age of 21 years. Child support can be extended beyond the age of 21 by agreement. For example, parents may choose to support a child until he or she reaches age 22 or completes a four-year college degree, or longer. In addition, a health insurance plan may allow a parent to keep their child insured until the age of 26. Terms pertaining to this issue can be negotiated and agreed to by the parties for the benefit of the child.