Consulting a New York Child Support Lawyer about Adult Children

11368249_sOne of the most inconsistent aspects of the law in the United States is the age of adulthood. The age at which people can consume alcohol, get married, vote in elections, serve in the military, and be treated as adults under the law vary widely from state to state, often resulting in confusion and differing concepts of what “adulthood” really means.

One extremely confusing scenario is after a divorce when one parent is ordered to pay child support to the other. One of the most common questions posed to a New York child support lawyer will be a variation on “what happens when the child turns eighteen, and is regarded as an adult by a great many measures? Does support automatically stop?”


In the state of New York, the answer a New York child support lawyer will give is “no,” the support does not stop. Under New York law, a child is entitled to support from their non-custodial parent until they reach the age of twenty-one. As a result, even if your children reach the age of eighteen and are technically adults, you will be required to continue making support payments as you have been.


There are some exceptions to this rule that a New York child support lawyer can explain. If the child is under 21 years of age, but is

  • Legally married
  • Self-supporting from job income or other income
  • Serving in the military

Then it is possible to have the child declared “emancipated.” When a child is declared emancipated, they are not yet considered adults but are no longer eligible for support, and the parent can petition to have the support order lifted. Once lifted, it will not be put back in place.

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