When Does Child Support End in NY

Whether married or unmarried, parents in New York are responsible for financially supporting their children. After a divorce, the noncustodial parent is obligated to pay child support to the other parent in order to provide shelter, clothes, food, education, health insurance, and other basic needs. 

Many paying parents wonder how long do they have to pay child support for? In New York, you must pay child support until your child turns 21 years of age, rather than 18 years old in most states throughout the country. 

Even though parents are not responsible for supporting an adult child after he/she turns 21, they may agree to extend support until a certain age—until the child graduates a college or university, for example—or indefinitely, especially if the child has special needs and cannot support himself/herself when he/she becomes an adult. 

On the other hand, child support may end when a child is older than 16 becomes emancipated and one of the following is true: 

  • Gets married 

  • Joins the U.S. military 

  • Becomes self-supporting 

Keep in mind, when a child reaches 21 or becomes emancipated in New York, child support payments do not automatically stop. Since the state’s Child Support Enforcement Bureau (CSEB) will continue to expect payment until they have a court order that says otherwise, parents must go to court and seek an order terminating the original child support order. 

It is wise to file a petition prior to the child’s 21st birthday because the termination of support may not occur right away, which can lead to continued payments. However, once the court order is in effect, the CSEB will return any funds collected after the child turned 21. 

If you are interested in modifying or ending a child support order in Brooklyn, contact Arnel Law Firm today at (718) 550-3024 for a free initial consultation. More than 35 years of family law experience!