Child support is an important part of a divorce, legal separation, or certain paternity case negotiations when people share one or more minor children. In New York, the law requires the non-custodial parent to make regular, usually monthly, payments to help their co-parent raise their child with adequate resources and quality of life.
The state calculates the necessary amount of child support payments based on the number of children, your children’s needs, and your income. Failure to provide necessary child support payments can result in legal issues and lead the court to enforce the ruling.
Child support payments can help cover:
- Childcare and education
- Health insurance and other medical expenses
- Extracurricular activities
Child support is separate from any alimony payments a former spouse may request. Working with a divorce lawyer who has extensive experience in cases that involve child custody and child support can help protect your individual and parental rights.
When Is My Child Old Enough for Child Support to End?
The state of New York considers that you can stop making child support payments when your child turns 21 unless you and your former spouse have agreed to share college-related expenses when you got divorced or in the following years. In New York state, a judge usually approves a court order that includes specific payments to support post-secondary education until your child’s twenty-second birthday.
If shared college funding is something you and your former spouse are considering at any point during or after terminating your marriage, you should discuss your options with your attorney to ensure that your agreement accounts for any relevant aspect of your child’s higher education.
What If My Child Chooses Emancipation?
Your child petitions for emancipation, it requires that they can support themselves and live on their own. Seasonal employment is not enough to qualify a minor for emancipation.
In the state of New York, emancipation is possible if a minor:
- Gets married
- Attends college for four years
- Joins the military
- Is at least 18 years old, works full-time, and earns enough to be self-sufficient
- Ends their relationship with their parents or guardians due to abuse or neglect
If a judge approves your child’s emancipation, you do not need to make child support payments anymore.
Consult a Child Support Attorney If You Need to Modify a Court Order
During the years in which you need to provide child support, you have the option to request a court order modification if the payments create hardship for you. Your family law attorney can help you prepare your case and submit the appropriate form to the court to increase your chances of a positive outcome.
A judge may approve a modification to child support payments due to:
- Job loss
- A significantly lower salary
- Illness or injury
A court may also grant a modification to child support payments in certain cases of parental relocation. Since a judge always prioritizes the child’s best interests, they may not be willing to accept your petition if any loss of income happened due to deliberate behavior or decisions on your part. If you and your co-parent are looking to modify your current child custody and visitation order, it may also affect child support payments.
If you need an experienced child custody attorney in Brooklyn or its surrounding areas, call Arnel Law Firm today at (718) 550-3024 or use our online form to schedule your free consultation.