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How long does one have to pay child support?

Most parents want to do right by their children. However, when a non-custodial parent is required to pay child support, he or she may want to know how long the obligation to pay will last. The truth is, every state has different views regarding child support. In New York, parents are responsible for their children's financial well-being until the children reach the age of 21.

By the age of 21, quite a few parents do expect their children to be taking on a lot more responsibility in the realm of finances. However, there are reasons that some may still require financial support. At 21, some young adults are still in college or are unable to find jobs that provide for their basic needs. For those who are seeking higher educational opportunities, they should understand that their parents are not required to pay for their schooling; however, they may still have to rely on their parents to help provide the necessities.

When it comes to child support, some exceptions do apply. A non-custodial parent may be able to stop paying support if his or her child gets married before he or she reaches the age of 21. The same can be said if a child is emancipated, if he or she joins the military, or if he or she is already self-supporting.

While paying child support until children reach the age of 21 may seem a little much to some, the state of New York has decided there are reasons as to why it may be considered necessary. Those who believe that their children have met the criteria for cutting off support payments may submit requests in court to end child support orders. As this may create conflict with custodial parents, it may prove somewhat difficult to get such requests approved. An experienced family law attorney can assist non-custodial parents seek support order modifications or cancellations by filing the appropriate legal motions and litigating the matter if necessary.

Source:, "NY City Family Court -- Support FAQs: UntilWhat Age Is a Parent Obligated to Support a Child?", Accessed on Dec. 1, 2016

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