Under the laws of the State of New York, one party has to be designated as the residential custodial parent and the other party has to be designated as the non-custodial parent. That creates, automatically, an obligation on the non-custodial parent to pay child support. Parties can agree to deviate from the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA), which provides the presumptively correct amount of child support based upon the incomes of each parent and the number of children under the age of 21. However, just because you’re sharing custody, meaning maybe even 50% of the time with one spouse and 50% of the time with the other spouse, that does not, in and of itself, provide a legal reason there should be no child support being paid. Some states use a comparative analysis between the parent’s incomes and the amount of time that the children spend with each party to make an adjustment to child support. New York does not do that. We follow the CSSA, but again, each party can agree to shift, or deviate, from the Child Support Standards Act to provide what they might consider to be a fairer arrangement when it comes to child support.
Robert Pollack is an experienced divorce and family law attorney in Long Island, New York. Contact The Pollack Law Firm, P.C., to set up a free initial consultation.