Divorce and Matrimonial

Child Support and Paternity

In the State of New York, if a child is born to married parents, there is a rebuttable presumption that the Child is “of the marriage” and that both spouses are parents of the child. Therefore, in a divorce, paternity is generally established, but there are exceptions.

New York follows the Child Support Standards Act in fashioning basic child support awards payable by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent. A court will look at both parents’ incomes to determine the appropriate amount of support and the division of add-on expenses for the children, including unreimbursed medical expenses, childcare, and sometimes education and extracurricular costs.

In the “Child Support and Paternity” section of the Family Court section, please delete the “Spousal Support” in the heading and use this as the body:

According to New York State law, a child born to unmarried parents has no legal father. Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) is a legal process through which paternity, or legal fatherhood, can be established. If parents are not eligible for voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity, they can establish paternity by filing a paternity petition in Family Court.

Only after legal parentage is established can a person be ordered to pay child support. New York follows the Child Support Standards Act in fashioning basic child support awards payable by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent. A court will look at both parents’ incomes to determine the appropriate amount of support and the division of add-on expenses for the children, including unreimbursed medical expenses, childcare, and sometimes education and extracurricular costs.