New York Child Support Guide And Regulations
Child Support Eligibility
Any parent or nonparent caregiver acting as guardian of at least one child under the age of 21 is eligible to apply for child support services. Such person is considered the custodial parent in the child support case. If you are applying for, or receiving, Temporary Assistance (officially termed “Family Assistance” or “Safety Net Assistance”) for the child, child support services may be provided based on the application. Child support services may also be provided in NY if you are applying for Medicaid for yourself and the child and you complete an application/referral for child support services. A child under the age of 21 or a noncustodial parent or putative (alleged) father may also apply or be eligible for child support services.
Obligations of Child Support
Paternity is established when parents sign a voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity or when the court determines the father of the child and issues an “order of filiation.”
• Under New York State law, the noncustodial parent will be chargeable by the court to pay support until the child is 21 years of age.
• The child gains rights to inheritance from his or her parents. Parents also may have rights of inheritance from their child.
• The child may be entitled to receive death or disability benefits if either parent dies or becomes permanently disabled.
• The noncustodial parent has the right to ask the court for visitation with and/or custody of the child.
• The noncustodial parent will also generally have the right to notice to adoption and foster care proceedings.
Payment of Child Support
Noncustodial parents primarily make child support payments through income withholding. However, noncustodial parents can make payments directly to the New York State Child Support Processing Center under certain circumstances (e.g., support order is newly established and income withholding has not yet taken effect, or the noncustodial parent is self-employed or does not have an employer). Payments can be made with cashier’s checks, certified checks, and money orders. In addition, payments can be made through electronic funds transfer and by credit card.
Enforcing and/or Collection of Child Support
The child support enforcement program has legislative authority to collect overdue child support (arrears) and to obtain medical coverage through a variety of administrative procedures. Administrative procedures can be put into action without going to court.
Before any administrative procedure is begun, a notice is sent to the noncustodial parent. The notice explains the procedure, provides a deadline and instructions to comply with or challenge the action, and explains the consequences of failing to comply. Several different kinds of enforcement actions may occur at the same time, based on the dollar amount of the debt or the length of time the debt has been accruing.
Procedures to Collect Current or Overdue Child Support
The two administrative procedures described below, Income Execution (IEX) and Unemployment Insurance Benefits (UIB) Intercept, may be used to collect either current or overdue child support.
Income Execution (IEX) is the process by which payments for current and/or overdue support are deducted from a noncustodial parent’s wages or other income by the noncustodial parent’s employer or income payor.
Unemployment Insurance Benefits (UIB) Intercept – Noncustodial parents who are receiving unemployment insurance from the New York State Department of Labor will have current and/or overdue child support payments automatically deducted from their UIB payments.
Additional Procedures to Collect Overdue Support:
Income Tax Refund Intercept (Federal and State) A delinquent noncustodial parent’s federal and/or State income tax refund may be intercepted to pay overdue child support.
Credit Bureau Submission – The names of delinquent noncustodial parents may be submitted to the major consumer credit reporting agencies. As a result, the noncustodial parent may have difficulty obtaining a loan or other forms of credit until the overdue child support is paid.
Lottery Intercept – New York State lottery winnings may be intercepted to pay overdue child support.
Property Execution – Financial assets, including bank accounts, may be seized in order to satisfy overdue child support.
Driver’s License Suspension – New York State driver’s licenses may be suspended for a delinquent noncustodial parent.
Modifying Child Support
Under New York’s Domestic Relations Law, courts will consider lowering a parent’s child support payments in cases where there has been a “substantial change in circumstances.” A parent must petition for a downward modification in child support. So long as he or she can present evidence showing an apparent and extreme hardship caused by a change in circumstances, then the court should hold a hearing to determine the proper amount of support owed
Either party has the right to seek a modification of the order of support based upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances. If the order was effective on or after October 13, 2010, incarceration shall not be a bar to finding a substantial change in circumstances provided such incarceration is not the result of non-payment of a child support order, or an offense against the custodial parent or child who is the subject of the order or judgment. Additionally, under certain conditions, an order of support can be modified based upon: (1) the passage of three years since the order was entered, last modified or adjusted; or (2) a change in either party’s gross income by fifteen percent or more since the order was entered, last modified or adjusted. Bases (1) and (2) for seeking a modification of the order of support does not apply if the:
• Parties entered into a validly executed agreement or stipulation prior to October 13, 2010 which was incorporated into the original order of support; or
• Parties have specifically opted out of the bases provided in (1) and/or (2) in a validly executed agreement or stipulation entered into on or after October 13, 2010.
Factors That May Deny Modification
New York courts frequently stress that a parent’s child support obligations “are not necessarily determined by his or her current financial condition.” Under New York’s Family Court Act, if a parent possesses a “sufficient means” or is “able to earn such means” then he or she must pay the amount of child support the court deems fair. Courts often base child support obligations on the payor’s “earning ability” rather than on what he or she actually earns. Proving any rebuttal factors is the responsibility of the payor.
2013 Child Support Income Percentages
The basic child support obligation includes a percentage-based obligation, a provision for health insurance coverage and/or cash medical support, child care expenses, and educational expenses for the child.
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New York State Child Support Customer Service Helpline: 888-208-4485.
Note: The foregoing information is provided as general child support law guidelines in New York and should not be considered as legal advice specific to your case. After reviewing the above material, you will be presented with the opportunity to submit more details specific to your case directly to
About The Children.
Submitted by Linda O’Marie, Paralegal
Also you can call 1 (800) 787-4981