Under New York law, parents are obligated to financially support their children, and the parent without custody of the children can be compelled by court order to pay a “fair and reasonable sum” according to their means to the parent with custody. Parenthood of the children is required for child support obligation, which means that a mother seeking child support from the father must establish paternity. Paternity may be established even if the man is not the biological father of the children, who may still be the legal parent of the children. Child support may be modified, increased or decreased, based on the change in economic circumstances of the noncustodial parent. The policy that determines child support obligation is the “best interests of the child”, and the family court will consider this along with the guidelines in the Child Support Standards Chart, which can be found here:


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