How to Terminate Child Support in New york

How to Terminate Child Support in New york

The Child Support policy devised under NY courts requires the ex-spouses to provide for the child’s well-being even after a divorce. This continues until the minor reaches 21 years of age or is granted “emancipation” under other circumstances. But exactly how to terminate child support in NY?

A divorce process is soul-shattering for spouses, but for children- it turns their world upside down.

To ensure the mental, physical, and emotional health of children ensuing divorce, the new york court requires a noncustodial parent to pay a certain amount of their gross income to the custodial parent.

Once the child reaches 21 or is married, fully employed, or joins the military (emancipated between 17 and 21), the noncustodial parent files a petition to terminate child support in NY. The court then reviews this petition, and after approval, the child support payments stop.

What is the Child Support Termination Law?

While most states end child support at 18, NY has different laws regarding child support and its enforcement. As per § 240 of Domestic Relations Law NY state expects parents to pay for educational, residential and medical expenses of the child until the age of 21. 

This is based on the assumption that a child completes some, if not all, college education by this age and can self-support one’s own expenses. 

In some circumstances, a minor may become emancipated between 17 and 21 years of age if he or she starts full-term employment and can self-support expenses. Emancipation also occurs if the child marries before 21 or decides to join the military.

But in case of these events, the payments will not stop automatically until the parent paying them files a petition to terminate child support in New york. The court order is then reviewed, and the process for collecting these payments is canceled.

What are the Challenges of Child Support Termination Law?

Like NY Division of Child Support Services has designed intricate formulas for collecting child support payments out of parents’ gross income, the Office of Child Support. 

Enforcement(OCSE) ensures timely payments, as raising children single-handedly without financial help from the other parent can be difficult. 

Complicated procedures are a part of any legislation, and the same applies to the termination of child support in NY

Here are some challenges faced while terminating child support in NY:

  • In the case of children with proven disabilities or medical problems, child support is terminated at 26 years of age.
  • The payments can only be terminated after a signed court order from the NY Family Courts and not just automatically after a child’s 21st birthday. 
  • A parent cannot terminate child support if the other parent refuses visitation rights. However, a petition could be filed with the court regarding interference with visitation rights- but downright stopping the payments would result in a serious charge.
  • Not making the payments without a termination order could result in serious offenses such as suspension of driver’s license, lower credit rating, passport denial, intercepted income tax returns or freezing of financial assets. 

How to Terminate Child Support in New york

Here is a list of scenarios where a non-custodial parent can terminate payment after court order:

The child reaches maturity age of 21

When a minor reaches maturity at 21, a petition can be filed with the court to terminate the payments. Sometimes, the parents continue the payments with the mutual agreement until the child completes college education at 22 years.


Emancipation from child support payments can occur between 17 and 21 years of age under the following circumstances:

  • Full-time employment (in the military or otherwise)

            As soon as the court learns about the child being self-sufficient to bear their own expenses, it will issue an order to terminate child support payments. This does not include any part-time jobs done during schooling. If a child joins the military on a full-term status, the child support payments are stopped immediately. 

  •  Marriage of child (at reaching 18 years of age)

If a child marries at 18, it is presumed that he or she is self-sufficient and no longer the legal recipient of these payments.

  • Permanent residence away from the custodial parent

A child may move away to pursue higher education, and this can be used as grounds to file a petition to terminate child support in NY.

  • Change of residential custody

If the permanent residence of the child shifts from noncustodial to the custodial parent, a petition can be filed to terminate these payments. However, even with 50-50 custody, the higher-earning parent is obliged to make shield support payments. 

  • Abandonment And Severing Ties With Parents/ Constructive Emancipation

If a child leaves one or both parents and stops all communication, then the child support payments can be stopped after the parent (usually the father) proves that this situation is not resultant of his own faults. They will have to provide evidence supporting the claim, showing complete effort to have contact with the child.

Role of Family Law Attorney in Child Support Termination in NY

Whether you are on the receiving end of Child Support or are making payments towards the cause, it is always advisable to hire the expertise of a family law attorney to handle the burden of paperwork and documentation related to court procedures. 

The professional help reduces the burden of adhering to the exhausting red tape of court procedures. 

Since these payments take up a substantial part of gross income, it is essential to reduce the risk factor by being proactive compared to the other parent by recruiting a family lawyer. 

These professionals are trained in dealing with matters of child support termination and react appropriately as soon as a situation arises.

You should never depend on the custodial parent to sign up an affidavit with the court but should take the first step of filing a petition to terminate child support payments in NY.

When Does Child Support End?

Child Support can be terminated only after the court issues an order to stop payments towards the cause. This is done after a critical review of the petition filed by the parent to terminate child support. It can be when the child turns 21 or is emancipated before 21 in the events outlined above. 


Can you stop child support if both parents agree in NY?

Child Support can be modified “up or down” if both parents agree to a substantial change in income over the past few years. However to completely stop the payments, the parents might have to move to the same residence, living together with the child. 

Do child support payments automatically stop in NY?

Child Support does not terminate automatically after the child turns 21 or is under 21 and emancipated on specific grounds. The noncustodial parent has to file a petition to terminate child support in NY courts to terminate the payments.

How do I drop my child support case in NY?

The child support case can be dropped only when the child matures to 21 years of age or is emancipated before 21 due to significant life events. In that case, the non custodial has to file a termination petition with the NY Family Courts to stop the payments.

How can I legally stop paying child support?

The legal age in NY for a child to stop receiving child support payments is 21. However, modifications can be made to the agreement by the court under “emancipation” if the child is between 17-21. 

These grounds include full- time employment, marriage, moving away from custodial residence and parental alienation. In most extreme cases, abandonment of parental rights will terminate the child support in NY but this kind of decision is irrevocable in future. 

How long does a father have to pay child support in NY?

Under New York State Law, the noncustodial parent, which can be either one of the parents, is expected to pay child support until the child is 21 years old. They can also stop before that if the child is emancipated. 

Why is child support until 21 in NY?

The law is based on the assumption that a child is not self sufficient to provide for their own expenses. This is because they still reside with the custodial parent or are attending a full time college. 

Does child support continue through college in NY?

Legally, child support in NY ends at 21 years of age, which constitutes some, if not the entire period of college education. However, some parents might agree to extend the period to 22 years of age, until the child completes college education and is ready for potential employment.  

Can a mother cancel child support in NY?

Only a petition to terminate child support in NY cancels the payments after the court reviews the specific circumstances used as grounds for termination. However, either one of the parents can request a modification to the settlement if there is a significant change in the earnings of the noncustodial parent. The parent at the receiving end cannot cancel child support but can file a violation if payments are not made according to NY courts’ orders.      

How to Terminate Child Support in New york – Hire Experienced Family Law Attorneys

Make the gruesome process of making and terminating child support payments in NY by hiring professional family law services! They can ease the burden of filing multiple forms and petitions in court and offer expert advice in family court litigations.