By Matt Cavallo
To determine the monetary amount of child support that parents owe, the income of each parent must be added and the proportion of the income contributed to that parent must be determined. A limit or cap is applied to the combined amount of income. This cap for child support was previously $148,000, but became $154,000 on March 1, 2020.
From there, to determine the combined child support obligation of each parent, the combined income must be multiplied by percentages that are determined by the Child Support Standards Chart. The chart indicates that 17% is owed for one child; 25% for two children; 29% for three children; 31% for four children; and no less than 35% for five or more children.
If the combined parental income of the parents exceeds $154,000, then the court may, at its own discretion, determine the child support figure for the amount beyond the cap by evaluating factors such as the financial resources of the custodial and non-custodial parent and those of the child; the physical and emotional health of the child and his/her special needs and aptitudes the standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage or household not been dissolved; the tax consequences to the parties; the non-monetary contributions that the parents will make toward the care and well-being of the child; and the educational needs of either parent, among other factors. NY DRL § 240(1-b)(c)(3) & (f).
The non-custodial parent will be obligated to pay the child support amount that is ultimately calculated, provided that said amount is not “unjust or inappropriate” in the eyes of the court. NY DRL § 240(1-b)(f). The Statement of Net Worth that you provide in a divorce action will contain financial information that will be used to determine your income for child support calculation purposes. It is critical that the Statement of Net Worth is carefully filled out so that you make a full disclosure of your financial assets in a divorce action.