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When Does Child Support End?

When Does Child Support End?

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When parents get divorced, they have several important matters to figure out. On top of property division, alimony, and child custody decisions, child support must also be determined. For those going through the divorce process for the first time, it's natural to be confused about child support laws in New York. Parents often wonder how long child support will need to be paid for. Our Westchester lawyers are here to explain.

New York Child Support Laws

New York child support follows the Domestic Relations Law commonly referred to as the "Child Support Standards Act" (CSSA). The law determines how much child support a parent has to pay as well as for how long.

While it's common in most states to end child support when the child turns 18, New York operates differently. Specifically, child support continues until the child turns 21 years old.

While there are some exceptions, this means that child support must be paid until the child reaches the age of 21. The reason for this is due to the presumption that a child is typically not self-supporting yet due to them either living at home with the custodial parent or attending college full time.

Can Child Support End Earlier?

In New York, parents are required to financially support their child until they turn 21 years old. The only exception is if they are "emancipated." Children under 21 are considered to be "unemancipated" for child support purposes. Therefore, if the child is deemed to be emancipated, child support can end earlier than the age of 21.

Emancipation is the process of a parent giving up their control over the child in order for the child to make their own legal decisions and to support themselves before they are considered a legal adult, which is 18 years old. A child can become emancipated earlier than 21 if they are:

  • In the military
  • Working full time
  • Married

Have more questions about NY child support laws? Call Friedman & Friedman PLLC, Attorneys at Law at (516) 688-0088 to set up a consultation today.


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