The First Department, in its February 19, 2013 decision in David v. Cruz, threw out an entire settlement agreement because of its failure to include language required by the Child Support Standards Act.
The C.S.S.A. sets out a presumptive formula for the calculation of a parent’s child support obligation.
Parents are free to agree to vary the formula and fix their own base periodic child support obligation. They may also fix the parents’ respective liabilities for addition health care, child care and add-on expenses, if not others. However if they so agree, the parents must recite in their agreement what would have been the results had the presumptive statutory formula been applied.
As noted by the First Department, an agreement purporting to opt out of the presumptive basic child support obligations set forth in the Child Support Standards Act must include a provision stating that the parties have been advised of the provisions of the C.S.S.A., must specify the amount that the basic child support obligation would have been, and must state the reason or reasons for the deviation (Family Court Act § 413  [h]; Domestic Relations Law § 240[1–b][h]). That required recitation may not be waived by either party or by counsel.