How Long Do You Pay Child Support in NY?

When parents file for divorce or separation, one parent agrees to pay child support to the other parent. The payments are used for the child’s health insurance, medical expenses, educational expenses, and other childcare-related costs. 

A common question most paying (noncustodial) parents have is “when do I stop paying child support?” In New York, you must pay child support until your child turns 21 years old, under most circumstances. 

Although the age of majority for child custody and visitation is 18 years of age, 21 is the age limit for child support purposes. Parents are not required by law to support an adult child, unless there is some type of agreement, such as extending support until the child graduates from a college or university or providing for a disabled child because he/she will never become self-supporting. 

A noncustodial parent may also stop paying child support if a child older than 16 years of age becomes one of the following: 

  • Emancipated 

  • Married 

  • A service member of the U.S. military 

  • Self-supporting (by at least 18 years old) 

Remember, a noncustodial parent’s responsibility to pay child support does not automatically end. You must seek an order terminating the child support order in court. The Child Support Enforcement Bureau (CSEB) in New York will continue to expect payment until a court order says otherwise. 

Since the termination order is not immediately effective if granted, you need to file a petition before your child turns 21, so that the CSEB can timely end the order and return any funds obtained after the child’s 21st birthday. 

If you are interested in modifying or terminating a child support order in Yonkers, contact Empire Law today at (914) 312-4131 to learn how our firm can help you.