What are the guidelines for child support in shared custody arrangements in New York?

Understanding Shared Custody Child Support in New York

In New York, child support is a crucial aspect of ensuring the well-being of children whose parents are no longer together. When it comes to shared custody arrangements, understanding the guidelines set by New York State law is essential for both parents to ensure their children receive the appropriate level of financial support. Shared custody, often referred to as joint custody, implies that both parents have substantial time with their children, which can influence the calculation and payment of child support.

New York Child Support Standards Act (CSSA)

The foundation for child support guidelines in New York is the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA), which sets forth a formula to calculate child support based on the parents' combined income and number of children. However, in shared custody situations, where each parent has the child for at least 40% of the time, the calculation may require additional considerations.

Calculating Child Support in Shared Custody

For shared custody arrangements, the court starts with the basic CSSA formula but adjusts it to account for the amount of time each parent spends with the child. Typically, if one parent has significantly higher income than the other, they might be ordered to pay child support to the lower-earning parent, even if physical custody is equally shared.

The court will consider various factors such as:

An example of how shared custody might affect child support payments is a case where Parent A earns $100,000 per year while Parent B earns $40,000. Under standard CSSA guidelines, Parent A would likely be responsible for a higher proportion of support; however, if Parent B has physical custody for a greater percentage of time than Parent A, this could offset Parent A's payment obligation.

Modifications and Enforcement

Child support orders can be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances. In shared custody arrangements, such changes could include a shift in income for either parent or a change in the amount of time spent with the child. It's important for parents to keep detailed records of their custody schedules and financial changes to present accurate information if modifications are necessary.

Enforcement of child support in New York is taken seriously. If a parent fails to comply with a support order, they may face consequences such as wage garnishment or loss of driver's or professional licenses.


Navigating child support within shared custody frameworks requires a clear understanding of New York laws and an accurate representation of both parents' time and financial contribution toward raising their children. Parents should consult with legal professionals to ensure that their rights are protected and that their children's needs are met according to New York State's guidelines.