Factoring Cost of Living Adjustments into Your Child Support and Parenting Plan

child supportEvery twenty-four months the Child Support Enforcement (SCE) program, established to maintain state-wide child support enforcement laws automatically reviews each child support order. 

What many separated couples remain unaware of however is the fact that this adjustment can be made without the support of a court magistrate.  Additionally, for orders paid to those who are on public assistance the review is done automatically. 

In general, notice by the Support Collection Unit (SCU) will be sent to both parents though either can request a review and no financial information is required to do so.  As such, it is usually a good idea to factor any potential cost of living adjustments into your child support and parenting plan

Calculating and Adjusting the Support Amount

The court uses a standard guideline in New York when calculating payments of the non-custodial parent based on their adjusted gross income.  Afterwards, deductions relating to Medicare and Social Security are subtracted from that figure. 

The result is then multiplied by the standard percentage guideline according to the number of children involved.  These percentages are as follows:


  • 17 and 25 percent for one child and two children respectively
  • 29 and 31 percent for three and four children respectively, and
  • At least 35 percent in cases where five children or more are involved

The non-custodial parent's share of child care, medical, and educational expenses are added to the final figure and the base child support amount is determined. 

Rising costs of living are a fact of life and negatively impact people’s spending habits.  If you believe you are entitled to receive additional payment in the form of cost of living adjustments, you should take the necessary steps to factor this into your child support and parenting plan.  

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