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Child Support Across State Lines

Posted on February 23, 2022

Do I still have to pay child support if the custodial parent moves to another state where the age of emancipation is lower than 21?

In New York, parents ordered to pay child support must continue to do so until the child turns twenty-one or becomes legally emancipated (getting married, joining the armed services or obtaining full-time employment and becoming self-sufficient). Did you know that this obligation remains in place even if the child moves to another state?

Take for example, the Matter of Haydee U. v. Brian P. (Fam. Ct. Nassau Co. May 19, 2021). In this case, the Father and the Mother were divorced and shared custody of triplets. Two children moved to Pennsylvania with the Mother while one child remained in New York with the Father. The Mother filed several petitions against the Father seeking to change the previously agreed upon child support order.  The Father responded that he no longer needed to pay child support since his two children over the age of 18 currently reside in Pennsylvania and under Pennsylvania law, a child emancipates at the age of 18. Unfortunately for the Father, his understanding of New York State child support law was wrong.

Just because a child moves to another state does not mean that child support agreements and orders fall under the jurisdiction of the other state. If the case was decided in New York State, New York law applies. In cases like the Matter of Haydee U. v. Brian P., this means the Father is obligated to continue paying child support until the children are twenty-one unless legally emancipated before that time.

When you are seeking to modify a child support agreement or court order, it is important to know when and how your child’s change of residence can affect your payments. You need an attorney that knows the law so that you are aware of the consequences of any new living arrangements. Our team at the Law Office of Vivien Stark, P.C. is knowledgeable and will work tirelessly for the needs and interests of you and your children.  Contact us online or call us at (212) 349-1600 today to schedule an appointment for your initial consultation.

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