Courts must consider “child support guidelines” when awarding child support. These guidelines, called the “Child Support Standards Act” (“CSSA”), provide for a pro-rata child support award based upon a percentage of combined gross income of both parents; the child support must be paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent. The guidelines automatically apply to the first $148,000.00 of combined parental income and presumptively apply to combined income over $148,000. If the court finds the formula “unjust or inappropriate,” it need not apply the guidelines.
In New York, parents are obligated to support their child until the child is 21 years old or sooner emancipated. The obligation to support a dependent child until he or she is 21 applies, even though a “child” is legally an adult at 18.