Child Support Issues

In New York, both parents are responsible for the support of their children until each child reaches the age of 21, unless earlier emancipated. A child can be deemed emancipated prior to reaching 21 years of age under various different circumstances, such as entering the military service, getting married, working full-time or no longer living with or being supported by a parent. However, these emancipation events do not necessarily apply to all children under all circumstances. Further, emancipation can be extended beyond age 21 under certain specific circumstances.

The determination of the amount required to be paid by a parent for the support of a child is governed in New York by statute, commonly referred to as the Child Support Standards Act, which establishes a formula for presumptively appropriate levels of child support, based on multiple factors. Prominent among these factors are the number of children being supported and the income of the parents. Under certain limited circumstances, the court will permit a deviation from this established level of child support.

In addition to this obligation for child support, parents are also required to share the costs of health insurance and expenses of their minor children, child care expenses that are necessary to permit a parent to work or attend school and, under certain circumstances, the costs of college. These expenses are usually shared in accordance with the incomes of the respective parties, but these presumptive amounts may also be modified under limited circumstances.

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