Parents in New York are legally obligated to provide financial support on behalf of their children until the children reach the age of 21. Once custody is established, or if the parents are living separate and apart, an order of child support can be established in either the Supreme Court via a divorce proceeding, or, the Family Court. Both Courts are bound by the Child Support Standards Act, which sets forth the applicable formula for awards of child support.
Pursuant to the Child Support Standards Act, child support is based upon the parents’ incomes and the number of children the award will be for. A parent’s income for child support purposes is his or her gross income as should have been reported on the most recent federal income tax return, plus investment income, worker’s compensation, disability benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, social security benefits, veterans benefits, pensions and retirement benefits, fellowships and stipends and annuity payments.
In addition, the Court has the discretion to include other sources of income, such as fringe benefits and money, goods or services provided by friends or relatives, when calculating a parent’s income for child support purposes.
The amount of child support awarded is a certain percentage of the parent’s combined parental income:
In addition to a parent’s obligation to provide direct child support on behalf of their children, parents are also obligated to contribute a certain percentage of their children’s medical insurance premium, unreimbursed medical expenses and childcare expenses to permit the custodial parent to work or attend school leading to employment, and, the Court has the discretion to direct parents to contribute to the children’s college.