DOM. REL. § 240
An order directing the payment of child support shall contain the social security numbers of the named parties. In all cases there shall be no prima facie right to the custody of the child in either parent. Such direction shall make provision for child support out of the property of either or both parents. The court shall make its award for child support pursuant to subdivision one-b of this section. Such direction may provide for reasonable visitation rights to the maternal and/or paternal grandparents of any child of the parties.
Such direction as it applies to rights of visitation with a child remanded or placed in the care of a person, official, agency or institution pursuant to article ten of the family court act, or pursuant to an instrument approved under section three hundred fifty-eight-a of the social services law, shall be enforceable pursuant to part eight of article ten of the family court act and sections three hundred fifty-eight-a and three hundred eighty-four-a of the social services law and other applicable provisions of law against any person having care and custody, or temporary care and custody, of the child.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any written application or motion to the court for the establishment, modification or enforcement of a child support obligation for persons not in receipt of public assistance and care must contain either a request for child support enforcement services which would authorize the collection of the support obligation by the immediate issuance of an income execution for support enforcement as provided for by this chapter, completed in the manner specified in section one hundreDELeven-g of the social services law; or a statement that the applicant has applied for or is in receipt of such services; or a statement that the applicant knows of the availability of such services, has declined them at this time and where support enforcement services pursuant to section one hundreDELeven-g of the social services law have been declined that the applicant understands that an income deduction order may be issued pursuant to subdivision (c) of section fifty-two hundred forty-two of the civil practice law and rules without other child support enforcement services and that payment of an administrative fee may be required.
The court shall provide a copy of any such request for child support enforcement services to the support collection unit of the appropriate social services district any time it directs payments to be made to such support collection unit. Additionally, the copy of any such request shall be accompanied by the name, address and social security number of the parties; the date and place of the parties' marriage; the name and date of birth of the child or children; and the name and address of the employers and income payors of the party from whom child support is sought or from the party ordered to pay child support to the other party.
Such direction may require the payment of a sum or sums of money either directly to the custodial parent or to third persons for goods or services furnished for such child, or for both payments to the custodial parent and to such third persons; provided, however, that unless the party seeking or receiving child support has applied for or is receiving such services, the court shall not direct such payments to be made to the support collection unit, as established in section one hundreDELeven-h of the social services law.
Every order directing the payment of support shall require that if either parent currently, or at any time in the future, has health insurance benefits available that may be extended or obtained to cover the child, such parent is required to exercise the option of additional coverage in favor of such child and execute and deliver to such person any forms, notices, documents or instruments necessary to assure timely payment of any health insurance claims for such child.
(a-1)(1) Permanent and initial temporary orders of custody or visitation. Prior to the issuance of any permanent or initial temporary order of custody or visitation, the court shall conduct a review of the decisions and reports listed in subparagraph three of this paragraph.
(2) Successive temporary orders of custody or visitation. Prior to the issuance of any successive temporary order of custody or visitation, the court shall conduct a review of the decisions and reports listed in subparagraph three of this paragraph, unless such a review has been conducted within ninety days prior to the issuance of such order.
(3) Decisions and reports for review. The court shall conduct a review of the following:
(i) related decisions in court proceedings initiated pursuant to article ten of the family court act, and all warrants issued under the family court act; and
(ii) reports of the statewide computerized registry of orders of protection established and maintained pursuant to section two hundred twenty-one-a of the executive law, and reports of the sex offender registry established and maintained pursuant to section one hundred sixty-eight-b of the correction law.
(4) Notifying counsel and issuing orders. Upon consideration of decisions pursuant to article ten of the family court act, and registry reports and notifying counsel involved in the proceeding, or in the event of a self-represented party, notifying such party of the results thereof, including any court appointed attorney for children, the court may issue a temporary, successive temporary or final order of custody or visitation.
(5) Temporary emergency order. Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, upon emergency situations, including computer malfunctions, to serve the best interest of the child, the court may issue a temporary emergency order for custody or visitation in the event that it is not possible to timely review decisions and reports on registries as required pursuant to subparagraph three of this paragraph.
(6) After issuing a temporary emergency order. After issuing a temporary emergency order of custody or visitation, the court shall conduct reviews of the decisions and reports on registries as required pursuant to subparagraph three of this paragraph within twenty-four hours of the issuance of such temporary emergency order. Should such twenty-four hour period fall on a day when court is not in session, then the required reviews shall take place the next day the court is in session. Upon reviewing decisions and reports the court shall notify associated counsel, self-represented parties and attorneys for children pursuant to subparagraph four of this paragraph and may issue temporary or permanent custody or visitation orders.
(7) Feasibility study. The commissioner of the office of children and family services, in conjunction with the office of court administration, is hereby authorized and directed to examine, study, evaluate and make recommendations concerning the feasibility of the utilization of computers in courts which are connected to the statewide central register of child abuse and maltreatment established and maintained pursuant to section four hundred twenty-two of the social services law, as a means of providing courts with information regarding parties requesting orders of custody or visitation. Such commissioner shall make a preliminary report to the governor and the legislature of findings, conclusions and recommendations not later than January first, two thousand nine, and a final report of findings, conclusions and recommendations not later than June first, two thousand nine, and shall submit with the reports such legislative proposals as are deemed necessary to implement the commissioner's recommendations.
(a-2) Military service by parent; effect on child custody orders.
(1) During the period of time that a parent is activated, deployed or temporarily assigned to military service, such that the parent's ability to continue as a joint caretaker or the primary caretaker of a minor child is materially affected by such military service, any orders issued pursuant to this section, based on the fact that the parent is activated, deployed or temporarily assigned to military service, which would materially affect or change a previous judgment or order regarding custody of that parent's child or children as such judgment or order existed on the date the parent was activated, deployed, or temporarily assigned to military service, shall be subject to review pursuant to subparagraph three of this paragraph. Any relevant provisions of the Service Member's Civil Relief Act shall apply to all proceedings governed by this section.
(2) During such period, the court may enter an order to modify custody if there is clear and convincing evidence that the modification is in the best interests of the child. An attorney for the child shall be appointed in all cases where a modification is sought during such military service. Such order shall be subject to review pursuant to subparagraph three of this paragraph. When entering an order pursuant to this section, the court shall consider and provide for, if feasible and if in the best interests of the child, contact between the military service member and his or her child, including, but not limited to, electronic communication by e-mail, webcam, telephone, or other available means. During the period of the parent's leave from military service, the court shall consider the best interests of the child when establishing a parenting schedule, including visiting and other contact. For such purposes, a "leave from military service" shall be a period of not more than three months.
(3) Unless the parties have otherwise stipulated or agreed, if an order is issued pursuant to this paragraph, the return of the parent from active military service, deployment or temporary assignment shall be considered a substantial change in circumstances. Upon the request of either parent, the court shall determine on the basis of the child's best interests whether the custody judgment or order previously in effect should be modified.
(4) This paragraph shall not apply to assignments to permanent duty stations or permanent changes of station.
(b) As used in this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(1) "Health insurance benefits" means any medical, dental, optical and prescription drugs and health care services or other health care benefits that may be provided for a dependent through an employer or organization, including such employers or organizations which are self insured, or through other available health insurance or health care coverage plans.
(2) "Available health insurance benefits" means any health insurance benefits that are reasonable in cost and that are reasonably accessible to the person on whose behalf the petition is brought. Health insurance benefits that are not reasonable in cost or whose services are not reasonably accessible to such person, shall be considered unavailable.
(3) When the person on whose behalf the petition is brought is a child in accordance with paragraph (c) of this subdivision, health insurance benefits shall be considered "reasonable in cost" if the cost of health insurance benefits does not exceed five percent of the combined parental gross income. The cost of health insurance benefits shall refer to the cost of the premium and deductible attributable to adding the child or children to existing coverage or the difference between such costs for self-only and family coverage. Provided, however, the presumption that the health insurance benefits are reasonable in cost may be rebutted upon a finding that the cost is unjust or inappropriate which finding shall be based on the circumstances of the case, the cost and comprehensiveness of the health insurance benefits for which the child or children may otherwise be eligible, and the best interests of the child or children. In no instance shall health insurance benefits be considered "reasonable in cost" if a parent's share of the cost of extending such coverage would reduce the income of that parent below the self-support reserve.
Health insurance benefits are "reasonably accessible" if the child lives within the geographic area covered by the plan or lives within thirty minutes or thirty miles of travel time from the child's residence to the services covered by the health insurance benefits or through benefits provided under a reciprocal agreement; provided, however, this presumption may be rebutted for good cause shown including, but not limited to, the special health needs of the child. The court shall set forth such finding and the reasons therefor in the order of support.
(c) When the person on whose behalf the petition is brought is a child, the court shall consider the availability of health insurance benefits to all parties and shall take the following action to ensure that health insurance benefits are provided for the benefit of the child:
(1) Where the child is presently covered by health insurance benefits, the court shall direct in the order of support that such coverage be maintained, unless either parent requests the court to make a direction for health insurance benefits coverage pursuant to paragraph two of this subdivision.
(2) Where the child is not presently covered by health insurance benefits, the court shall make a determination as follows:
(i) If only one parent has available health insurance benefits, the court shall direct in the order of support that such parent provide health insurance benefits.
(ii) If both parents have available health insurance benefits the court shall direct in the order of support that either parent or both parents provide such health insurance. The court shall make such determination based on the circumstances of the case, including, but not limited to, the cost and comprehensiveness of the respective health insurance benefits and the best interests of the child.
(iii) If neither parent has available health insurance benefits, the court shall direct in the order of support that the custodial parent apply for the state's child health insurance plan pursuant to title one-A of article twenty-five of the public health law and the medical assistance program established pursuant to title eleven of article five of the social services law. A direction issued under this subdivision shall not limit or alter either parent's obligation to obtain health insurance benefits at such time as they become available, as required pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subdivision. Nothing in this subdivision shall alter or limit the authority of the medical assistance program to determine when it is considered cost effective to require a custodial parent to enroll a child in an available group health insurance plan pursuant to paragraphs (b) and (c) of subdivision one of section three hundred sixty-seven-a of the social services law.
(d) The cost of providing health insurance benefits or benefits under the state's child health insurance plan or the medical assistance program, pursuant to paragraph (c) of this subdivision, shall be deemed cash medical support, and the court shall determine the obligation of either or both parents to contribute to the cost thereof pursuant to subparagraph five of paragraph (c) of subdivision one-b of this section.
(e) The court shall provide in the order of support that the legally responsible relative immediately notify the other party, or the other party and the support collection unit when the order is issued on behalf of a child in receipt of public assistance and care or in receipt of services pursuant to section one hundreDELeven-g of the social services law, of any change in health insurance benefits, including any termination of benefits, change in the health insurance benefit carrier, premium, or extent and availability of existing or new benefits.
(f) Where the court determines that health insurance benefits are available, the court shall provide in the order of support that the legally responsible relative immediately enroll the eligible dependents named in the order who are otherwise eligible for such benefits without regard to any seasonal enrollment restrictions. Such order shall further direct the legally responsible relative to maintain such benefits as long as they remain available to such relative. Such order shall further direct the legally responsible relative to assign all insurance reimbursement payments for health care expenses incurred for his or her eligible dependents to the provider of such services or the party actually having incurred and satisfied such expenses, as appropriate.
(g) When the court issues an order of child support or combined child and spousal support on behalf of persons in receipt of public assistance and care or in receipt of services pursuant to section one hundreDELeven-g of the social services law, such order shall further direct that the provision of health care benefits shall be immediately enforced pursuant to section fifty-two hundred forty-one of the civil practice law and rules.
(h) When the court issues an order of child support or combined child and spousal support on behalf of persons other than those in receipt of public assistance and care or in receipt of services pursuant to section one hundreDELeven-g of the social services law, the court shall also issue a separate order which shall include the necessary direction to ensure the order's characterization as a qualified medical child support order as defined by section six hundred nine of the employee retirement income security act of 1974 (29 USC 1169). Such order shall:
(i) clearly state that it creates or recognizes the existence of the right of the named dependent to be enrolled and to receive benefits for which the legally responsible relative is eligible under the available group health plans, and shall clearly specify the name, social security number and mailing address of the legally responsible relative, and of each dependent to be covered by the order;
(ii) provide a clear description of the type of coverage to be provided by the group health plan to each such dependent or the manner in which the type of coverage is to be determined; and
(iii) specify the period of time to which the order applies. The court shall not require the group health plan to provide any type or form of benefit or option not otherwise provided under the group health plan except to the extent necessary to meet the requirements of a law relating to medical child support described in section one thousand three hundred and ninety-six g of title forty-two of the United States code.
(i) Upon a finding that a legally responsible relative wilfully failed to obtain health insurance benefits in violation of a court order, such relative will be presumptively liable for all health care expenses incurred on behalf of such dependents from the first date such dependents were eligible to be enrolled to receive health insurance benefits after the issuance of the order of support directing the acquisition of such coverage.
(j) The order shall be effective as of the date of the application therefor, and any retroactive amount of child support due shall be support arrears/past due support and shall, except as provided for herein, be paid in one lump sum or periodic sums, as the court shall direct, taking into account any amount of temporary support which has been paid. In addition, such retroactive child support shall be enforceable in any manner provided by law including, but not limited to, an execution for support enforcement pursuant to subdivision (b) of section fifty-two hundred forty-one of the civil practice law and rules.
When a child receiving support is a public assistance recipient, or the order of support is being enforced or is to be enforced pursuant to section one hundreDELeven-g of the social services law, the court shall establish the amount of retroactive child support and notify the parties that such amount shall be enforced by the support collection unit pursuant to an execution for support enforcement as provided for in subdivision (b) of section fifty-two hundred forty-one of the civil practice law and rules, or in such periodic payments as would have been authorized had such an execution been issued.
In such case, the courts shall not direct the schedule of repayment of retroactive support. Where such direction is for child support and paternity has been established by a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity as defined in section forty-one hundred thirty-five-b of the public health law, the court shall inquire of the parties whether the acknowledgement has been duly filed, and unless satisfied that it has been so filed shall require the clerk of the court to file such acknowledgement with the appropriate registrar within five business days.
Such direction may be made in the final judgment in such action or proceeding, or by one or more orders from time to time before or subsequent to final judgment, or by both such order or orders and the final judgment. Such direction may be made notwithstanding that the court for any reason whatsoever, other than lack of jurisdiction, refuses to grant the relief requested in the action or proceeding. Any order or judgment made as in this section provided may combine in one lump sum any amount payable to the custodial parent under this section with any amount payable to such parent under section two hundred thirty-six of this article.
Upon the application of either parent, or of any other person or party having the care, custody and control of such child pursuant to such judgment or order, after such notice to the other party, parties or persons having such care, custody and control and given in such manner as the court shall direct, the court may annul or modify any such direction, whether made by order or final judgment, or in case no such direction shall have been made in the final judgment may, with respect to any judgment of annulment or declaring the nullity of a void marriage rendered on or after September first, nineteen hundred forty, or any judgment of separation or divorce whenever rendered, amend the judgment by inserting such direction.
Subject to the provisions of section two hundred forty-four of this article, no such modification or annulment shall reduce or annul arrears accrued prior to the making of such application unless the defaulting party shows good cause for failure to make application for relief from the judgment or order directing such payment prior to the accrual of such arrears. Such modification may increase such child support nunc pro tunc as of the date of application based on newly discovered evidence.
Any retroactive amount of child support due shall be support arrears/past due support and shall be paid in one lump sum or periodic sums, as the court shall direct, taking into account any amount of temporary child support which has been paid. In addition, such retroactive child support shall be enforceable in any manner provided by law including, but not limited to, an execution for support enforcement pursuant to subdivision (b) of section fifty-two hundred forty-one of the civil practice law and rules.
1-a. In any proceeding brought pursuant to this section to determine the custody or visitation of minors, a report made to the statewide central register of child abuse and maltreatment, pursuant to title six of article six of the social services law, or a portion thereof, which is otherwise admissible as a business record pursuant to rule forty-five hundred eighteen of the civil practice law and rules shall not be admissible in evidence, notwithstanding such rule, unless an investigation of such report conducted pursuant to title six of article six of the social services law has determined that there is some credible evidence of the alleged abuse or maltreatment and that the subject of the report has been notified that the report is indicated.
In addition, if such report has been reviewed by the state commissioner of social services or his designee and has been determined to be unfounded, it shall not be admissible in evidence. If such report has been so reviewed and has been amended to delete any finding, each such deleted finding shall not be admissible. If the state commissioner of social services or his designee has amended the report to add any new finding, each such new finding, together with any portion of the original report not deleted by the commissioner or his designee, shall be admissible if it meets the other requirements of this subdivision and is otherwise admissible as a business record. If such a report, or portion thereof, is admissible in evidence but is uncorroborated, it shall not be sufficient to make a fact finding of abuse or maltreatment in such proceeding. Any other evidence tending to support the reliability of such report shall be sufficient corroboration.
1-b. (a) The court shall make its award for child support pursuant to the provisions of this subdivision. The court may vary from the amount of the basic child support obligation determined pursuant to paragraph (c) of this subdivision only in accordance with paragraph (f) of this subdivision.
(b) For purposes of this subdivision, the following definitions shall be used:
(1) "Basic child support obligation" shall mean the sum derived by adding the amounts determined by the application of subparagraphs two and three of paragraph (c) of this subdivision except as increased pursuant to subparagraphs four, five, six and seven of such paragraph.
(2) "Child support" shall mean a sum to be paid pursuant to court order or decree by either or both parents or pursuant to a valid agreement between the parties for care, maintenance and education of any unemancipated child under the age of twenty-one years.
(3) "Child support percentage" shall mean:
(i) seventeen percent of the combined parental income for one child;
(ii) twenty-five percent of the combined parental income for two
(iii) twenty-nine percent of the combined parental income for three children;
(iv) thirty-one percent of the combined parental income for four children; and
(v) no less than thirty-five percent of the combined parental income for five or more children.
(4) "Combined parental income" shall mean the sum of the income of both parents.
(5) "Income" shall mean, but shall not be limited to, the sum of the amounts determined by the application of clauses (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) and (vi) of this subparagraph reduced by the amount determined by the application of clause (vii) of this subparagraph:
(i) gross (total) income as should have been or should be reported in the most recent federal income tax return. If an individual files his/her federal income tax return as a married person filing jointly, such person shall be required to prepare a form, sworn to under penalty of law, disclosing his/her gross income individually;
(ii) to the extent not already included in gross income in clause (i) of this subparagraph, investment income reduced by sums expended in connection with such investment;
(iii) to the extent not already included in gross income in clauses (i) and (ii) of this subparagraph, the amount of income or compensation voluntarily deferred and income received, if any, from the following sources:
(A) workers' compensation,
(B) disability benefits,
(C) unemployment insurance benefits,
(D) social security benefits,
(E) veterans benefits,
(F) pensions and retirement benefits,
(G) fellowships and stipends,
(H) annuity payments, and
(I) alimony or maintenance actually paid or to be paid to a spouse who is a party to the instant action pursuant to an existing court order or contained in the order to be entered by the court, or pursuant to a validly executed written agreement, in which event the order or agreement shall provide for a specific adjustment, in accordance with this subdivision, in the amount of child support payable upon the termination of alimony or maintenance to such spouse; provided, however, that the specific adjustment in the amount of child support is without prejudice to either party's right to seek a modification in accordance with subparagraph two of paragraph b of subdivision nine of part B of section two hundred thirty-six of this article.
In an action or proceeding to modify an order of child support, including an order incorporating without merging an agreement, issued prior to the effective date of this subclause, the provisions of this subclause shall not, by themselves, constitute a substantial change of circumstances pursuant to paragraph b of subdivision nine of part B of section two hundred thirty-six of this article.