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New York Child Custody and Support Guidelines


New York Child Custody and Support Guidelines:

When a child custody case is brought to the court, the court will try to accommodate the best interest of the child and choose the environment that offers the most stability. Some factors courts will take into consideration in a child custody case are:

  • The child's age, sex, and mental and physical health.
  • The parent's mental and physical health.
  • The parent's lifestyle.
  • Any history of child abuse.
  • The emotional bond between the parent and child.
  • The parent's ability to provide the child with food, shelter, clothing, and medical care.
  • The child's regular routine.
  • The quality of the child's education.
  • The child's preference, if the child is above a certain age, this is usually around age twelve. [li[The ability and willingness of the parent to encourage communication and contact between the child and the other parent.

The court may also conduct a Child Custody Evaluation. An evaluation usually consists of interviews, psychological exams, and analysis of the children, and perhaps the parents.

  • The court has the ability to deny a parent’s request for an evaluation.
  • Parents may be liable for the cost of the evaluation.
Child Support:

New York uses the Income Shares Model for the determination of child support. Child support may be ordered for the care, maintenance and education of any unemancipated child under the age of twenty-one years. "Child support percentage" shall mean:

  • Seventeen percent of the combined parental income for one child.
  • Twenty-five percent of the combined parental income for two children.
  • Twenty-nine percent of the combined parental income for three children.
  • Thirty-one percent of the combined parental income for four children.
  • No less than thirty-five percent of the combined parental income for five or more children.

The court shall calculate the basic child support obligation based upon consideration of the following factors:

  • 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.
  • The educational needs of either parent.
  • A determination that the gross income of one parent is substantially less than the other parent's gross income.
  • The needs of the children of the non-custodial parent for whom the non-custodial parent is providing support who are not subject to the instant action and whose support has not been deducted from income.
  • Any other factors the court determines are relevant in each case.

[Based on New York Domestic Relations Laws - Article 13 - Section: 240]

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