New York Child Support & Parenting Time Totals
In New York, the amount of child support is figured based on a percentage of the non-residential parent's income, and parenting time doesn't factor into the formula.
New York uses a basic child support formula that uses one parent's income to determine the amount of payment. Accurate parenting time numbers don't directly affect your child support, whether you pay or receive.
New York attorneys and judges often rely on parenting time estimates, even if they are incorrect, because counting parenting time is tedious and time consuming. Divorcing parents often rely on these estimates as well.
Using estimates means your parenting time totals are wrong when compared to your actual parenting time schedule. Keep your parenting time fair and exact with accurate records.
To calculate parenting time, the easiest and most accurate way is to use software. Without software, you're forced to add up hours for a whole year, which is error-prone when you include alternating holidays, summer break, and any changes to the schedule throughout the year.
The leading parenting time calculation software, Custody X Change, can calculate your parenting time to see if it was estimated incorrectly.
Using software, you can also tweak your schedule to see how even little changes affect your total parenting time, and you can see how your parenting time changes each year due to holidays and other events.
You can also track what actually happens, and show how much parenting time you've actually received for any period of time. Historical information is a powerful tool when you request a child support modification or when you request more parenting time.
In any divorce, New York family courts award custody of the children to one or both parents. Custody is divided into legal custody and physical custody. In many states, physical custody has an impact on the amount of child support, but not in New York.
In a New York physical custody case, the family court will designate a primary physical custodian. The residential parent hosts the children the majority of the time. The non-residential parent has visitation or parenting time.
A New York family court awards joint physical custody to most cases, except where the children's best interests or a parent's health or safety are an issue. New York family courts reject child support adjustments based on the time the child spends with a parent.
In New York, a basic child support formula is used to determine child support amounts. The same formula is used for sole and joint physical custody. Unlike many other states, New York gives no automatic parenting time credit that can reduce your child support amount.
In the New York formula, the non-residential parent's gross income is determined and then allowable deductions are made. Deductions can include health insurance obligations for the children or day care expenses, for example. The net income is then used in the child support formula.
The child support formula requires the non-residential parent's net income combined with the number of children to support:
- One child = 17% of the non-residential parent's monthly income
- Two children = 25% of the non-residential parent's monthly income
- Three children = 29% of the non-residential parent's monthly income
- Four children = 31% of the non-residential parent's monthly income
- Five children or more = 35% of the non-residential parent's monthly income
In New York, the non-residential parent pays child support to the residential parent.
New York family courts decline to put a dollar amount on non-residential parent spending time with their children, and currently do not tie compensation or credits to figuring child support amounts.
Consider the hypothetical case of Robert and Mary. Robert's net income is $4,000 per month, while Mary's net income is $2,400 per month. They have two children.
See how the child support amounts change in these examples:
- Scenario #1: Robert is the non-residential parent. The child support formula takes his monthly income and multiplies it by 25 percent. Robert pays $x in child support each month to Mary.
- Scenario #2: Mary is the non-residential parent. Her monthly income is multiplied by 25 percent. Mary pays $540 in child support to Robert.
- Scenario #3: If there were three children and Robert is the non-residential parent, he pays $1,044 in child support to Mary, based on 29 percent of his income.
In New York, the basic child support formula results in the non-residential parent paying child support to the residential parent.
New York's child support formula uses the following information to calculate your monthly amounts for joint custody child support:
- The non-residential parent's monthly gross income
- The number of children who are under age 21.
- Certain deduction amounts, such as the cost of health insurance premiums for the children or the cost of child care.
- A pre-existing child support or alimony obligation by either parent
Parenting time does not figure into the child support formula. However, you could submit your total parenting time to the court to show whether it is substantially in excess of the standard visitations in New York.
Paying accurate child support helps your children in several ways, primarily because it ensures their financial needs are met.
Here are some other reasons why accurate overnight numbers help you, the other parent and your children:
- It provides a fair way to determine your child support amounts
- It guarantees the child support amount reflects each parent's responsibilities
- It allows for modifications if your actual time and scheduled time are different
- It is compliant with New York law
Your financial obligations to your children don't end with divorce, so whether you are paying or receiving child support, you owe it to your children to pay or receive the proper amount.
To ensure you are paying or receiving the right amount of child support in New York, remember these 5 things:
- The New York courts use a state guideline to determine what the non-custodial parent will pay. The guidelines specify that the non-residential parent's income and the number of children to support are both factors in figuring correct child support amounts.
- New York figures child support amounts based on a percentage of the non-residential parent's net income only. The residential parent's income is not included.
- The percentage used in the child support formula is found in the New York child support guidelines and is based on the number of children that qualify. One child is 17 percent, two children are 25 percent, three children are 29 percent, four children are 31 percent and five children or more are 35 percent.
- The non-residential parent pays child support to the residential parent.
- Child support and visitation rights are separate issues in New York, so there is no parenting time adjustment or child support credit given to non-residential parents.
Use the Custody X Change software to accurately calculate your total parenting time to present to a New York family court.