Matrimonial and Family Law Blog

Friday, October 26, 2018

When does child support obligations end in New York?

Child support laws in New York are very clear about the financial obligations of parents to their children. Both parents are expected to provide financial support for the upkeep and well-being of their children. The financial support of a child does not end if the parents separate or divorce. Furthermore, the financial support of a child is not dependent on the parents ever being married to each other.

A New York child custody lawyer can help you determine the correct amount of child support that you should be paying or receiving under New York’s child support guidelines. In addition, a New York child support attorney can help you determine when you should stop paying child support payments or how to enforce a child support order.

How is Child Support Calculated in New York?

Child support in New York is based on the New York Child Support Standards Act (CSSA). The CSSA establishes a formula for calculating the amount of financial support each parent is responsible for paying for their child. The calculation of child support involves several steps including:

  • The total combined income of both parents;
  • The amount of the adjusted combined income after allowable deductions are subtracted, such as FICA taxes, SSI benefits, public assistance, etc.
  • Determine the percentage of income that should be applied to child support. The percentage is based on the numbers of children. For example, the couple must pay 17% of their adjusted combined income for one child, 25% for two children, 29% for three children, and so forth.
  • The court assigns each parent a pro-rata share of the combined child support based on the contributions of each parent to the total income. 

Financial obligations for your child may include additional expenses for the child, such as daycare expenses and medical expenses. Also, the court may modify the amount of child support payments upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances.

When Can I Stop Paying Child Support in New York?

In most cases, parents are required by law in New York to provide financial support for their child until the child reaches 21 years of age, including providing health insurance coverage. However, there are exceptions. If the child is under the age of 21 years and is in the military, married, or self-supporting, the child may be considered emancipated, and the parents’ legal financial responsibility terminates.

Therefore, most child support payments end when the child reaches the age of 21 years or when the court determines the child is emancipated. However, some child support orders require the parents to continue paying child support or support their child until he or she graduates from college. There are other exceptions to the general rule; therefore, it is never wise to assume you can stop paying child support payments on your child’s 21st birthday.

If you believe that your child support obligation has ended, you can submit a request to the court for the child to be declared emancipated. If the court reviews the situation and determines the child is emancipated, the court will issue an order terminating your child support payments.

Call a New York Child Support Attorney Before You Stop Paying Child Support Payments

Getting behind on child support payments can have negative consequences. Instead of risking costly court appearances, fines, and other penalties, talk with a New York child custody lawyer before you stop paying child support payments. Contact Gassman Baiamonte Gruner, speak with a New York child custody lawyer today about your options.

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