A Change in Custodial Parent’s Income- The Effect on Child Support

One question I am frequently asked goes something like this:  I am the custodial parent of a child in New York.  My income has doubled while the father, the non custodial parent’s income has remained the same.   What effect will this have on his child support payments to me?

The answer – Under New York’s child support guidelines (CSSA), the basic child support payment would be unchanged.   The formula for calculating child support, in its most basic form is:

combined  parental income  x the CSSA guideline percentage x (non custodial income)/the combined income)

If, for example, the custodial parent’s income increased from $100,000 to $200,000 but the non-custodial parent’s income remained constant at $100,000, the basic child support obligation would remain constant for the parties’ one child.

The support guideline amount for one child is 17%.

Original support 

$200,000 combined income  x 17% x  100,000/200,000=  $17,000

Increased income

$300,000 combined income x 17%  x 100,000/300,00= $17,000

What would change is the non custodial parent’s contribution to the statutory add-on’s.  Each parent would responsible for his/her pro rata share of child’s educational, extra-curricular activities, and unreimbursed medical expenses.   In this example, the non-custodial parent’s pro rata share would decrease from 1/2 to 1/3.

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