parent with child

Say, for instance, that you got divorced and therefore settled your divorce-related terms a long time ago. Now, you may find it necessary to update these terms, especially those regarding your child support obligation. Follow along to find out what factors may terminate or extend your obligation and how one of the proficient New York City child support attorneys at Zimmet Law Group, P.C. can guide you through this situation.

What factors may terminate my child support obligation?

Notably, the age of emancipation is 21 years old in New York State. Meaning, parents are generally required to financially support their child up until this age.

However, your child may fall under unique circumstances in which you may call for an early termination of your child support obligation. For one, your child may have joined the military at the age of 18. Or, upon graduating high school, your child may have decided to forgo higher education and seek out full-time employment that provides them a livable wage. And lastly, your child may have gotten married at a very young age.

Importantly, you cannot simply stop paying your monthly child support when you see fit. Instead, you must formally file a petition with the New York family court for a post-judgment modification. Here, the court will determine whether your child is considered financially independent to ultimately grant or deny your request for termination.

Another important note is that you cannot simply stop paying your monthly child support if you lose your job. You will similarly have to file a post-judgment modification. And in the meantime, you must use your unemployment benefits or workers’ compensation benefits to keep up with your payments, all while actively seeking new employment. All the more, you may still have to pay off your missed payments even if the court grants you a modified or terminated support obligation.

What factors may extend my child support obligation?

You must understand that by filing a post-judgment modification, you are opening the door for your former spouse to file a counterclaim. More specifically, they may file a petition with the New York family court to request an extension of your child support obligation.

With this, your former spouse may have a solid claim if your child is still financially dependent on you two even after passing the age of 21. A valid reason for this is if they chose to continue their education at a university or trade school. Another valid reason is if they have a medical condition or otherwise a special need that requires significant financial aid.

With all that being said, we recommend that you consult with a talented New York City divorce attorney as soon as possible. Schedule your initial consultation with us today.