As children grow and mature, they require various types of support from their parents. According to the law, both parents must provide financial support for their children. Even if the parents live apart, they need to share this responsibility. In New York, the law requires parents to offer financial support until their child turns 21. 

Following a divorce or separation, the custodial parent, who has legal custody of the child, might feel obligated to cover all of the costs involved in raising a child because the other parent refuses to contribute monetary support. In this type of situation, the court will order the noncustodial parent to provide child support. 

What does child support cover? 

Child support refers to the monetary payments given by one parent to support the raising of a child or children by the other parent. The expenses covered by child support extend beyond the basic necessities of food, shelter and clothing. In addition to these essentials, payments may cover the fees for child care, education and medical care. Child support may also fund extracurricular activities, entertainment, transportation or travel, and college-related expenses. 

How does the court determine the amount of child support? 

The court uses a formula to decide how much a parent will owe in child support. The formula takes into account the number of children that the parents have together, the basic needs of the children and the income of both parents. Online child support calculators can provide an estimate of the amount owed. The court’s goal in making this determination is to allow the children to maintain their current standard of living. 

What happens if the noncustodial parent changes jobs or relocates? 

In either of these scenarios, the law requires the parent to notify the Office of Child Support Enforcement. This action allows the parent to stay in contact regarding his or her case. In addition, the notification enables the OCSE to tell the new employer to deduct payments for child support from the parent’s upcoming paychecks. A parent can face serious legal consequences as a result of not paying child support.