Ask a Lawyer: Child Support

Question:

My son, who is 19 years old moved in with his father. My daughter who is 17 lives with me. In NY, I know child support is paid until the kids are 21. Does my ex-husband still pay child support for my daughter? Or is it considered even, since he has one kid and I have one kid? Also is he required to pay half of the college expenses for my daughter? Thank you so much for any information you can give me.

Answer:

I must preface my answer to your question by saying I am not licensed to practice in New York. Laws concering the payment of child support are going to vary from state to state. That being said, until the court order concerning child support is changed the father is required to continue paying child support. If he does move to modify the support based on the fact that your son is living with him, then your child support may be reduced or may equal zero. Generally, if each parent has one child and each parent has equal income then the result is no child support. However, there may be other factors the court may consider in NY. Is your son still in school? Is he working? Even in states where child support goes to 21, a child can usually be emancipated at 18 if he is not in school and self supporting. You may want to contact an attorney in NY to see if this is possible. As for the payment of college expenses, not all states have provisions for payment of post secondary educational expenses. You would need to find out what the law in NY is in this regard. Since some states do provide for the payment of college expenses it is worth checking into.
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