What can I do in New York to get more support for my child?

My child’s father is paying very little child support and i need more financial help to support our child, what can i do?

Many custodial parents find themselves in a similar situation. Once upon a time, a minimum amount of child support was ordered by the court - but your situation has changed. Maybe the noncustodial parent started making more money, maybe times are different - regardless, it is time to go back to court!

What is Child Support?

Child Support is money provided by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent for the care of their underage child. The money should be used for maintenance, care, education and child care.

How is Child Support Determined?

A simple way to determine child support is by entering into a private agreement outside the courts. However, if such an agreement is not possible, parents turn to the courts to determine the amount of child support that is necessary for their joint child. In both scenarios, the court must approve the agreement.

In New York, Courts use the Child Support Standards Act to determine appropriate allocation of child support. 

Under this act, courts rely on a specific formula based on parents income and number of supported children. The combined income of both parents is then multiplied by a percentage (based on the number of children) to determine appropriate child support.

A breakdown of NY child support percentages are as follows:

17% of income for one child

25% of income for two children

29% of income for three children

31% of income for four children

35% of income for five + 

This formula is applied to a maximum joined income of up to $143,000. In situations where the joint income is greater than this amount, courts have discretion to move away from state guidelines or take other factors into consideration.

Private agreements for Child Support

As stated above, parents can agree to a private agreement called a “stipulation for child support”. These agreements can agree to more or less child support than the state guidelines provide. 

To have a valid agreement, the following must be included:

  • A statement that both parents are aware of the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA).
  • A provision that a copy of the Child support standards act was given to either parent who is not represented by an attorney.
  • The amount child support WOULD have been if the Act was applied, and
  • The reasoning behind why the amount is different from the amount it would have been under the Act if applicable. 

This agreement then needs to be signed off by the judge who has the discretion to override the agreement if it is deemed it is not in the best interest of the child. 

How Can a Child Support Order be Modified?

Either parent can come in front of the court to modify or change a child support order. This is done by filing a petition asking for a modification of the child support order.

Parents may seek a modification or change based on a showing of:

  • a substantial change in circumstances
  • Three years have passed since the order was issued
  • a 15% increase or decrease in either parent's income since the original order was issued

If you find yourself fitting one of these criteria to go back to court in New York for a modification, call us at 888-501-3292 for a free consultation. We are available any time day or night so feel free to reach out anytime.