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When parents in New York divorce, the court uses a formula to determine child support payments. This ensures that children receive the financial support they need from both parents.

If you have a child and are planning to end your marriage, read on for the answers to common questions about New York child support laws.

How do I request child support services?

The Child Support Enforcement Unit in your area can help you:

  • Locate your child’s other parent if you do not know where he or she is
  • Apply for child support and establish a monthly support amount
  • Notify the other parent of child support petitions that you file
  • Collect and distribute child support payments
  • Modify payments based on cost of living and other factors

You can apply for services online or in person at your local office. The annual administrative fee is $25.

How much will I receive or pay in child support?

New York releases a child support standards chart by April of each year. This chart details the monthly child support amount paid by the noncustodial parent based on annual income, the number of children and other factors. Families with annual income above $148,000 may estimate their payments as follows:

  • 1 child: 17% of annual income
  • 2 children: 25%
  • 3 children: 29%
  • 4 children: 31%
  • 5 or more children: Minimum of 35%

What happens if financial circumstances change?

Either parent can file a petition to amend child support in his or her local court. For example, if you lose your job, you must request a modification or risk accumulating a significant back support obligation. In addition, failure to pay child support can result in license suspension, seizure of bank accounts and negative marks on your credit report.

If you are currently pursuing a divorce, you can make a child support agreement as part of your divorce decree. Mediation may help you and your child’s other parent reach consensus.