Good morning...my question concerns child support - I am located in Erie County, NY. My ex-husband and I have three children current ages are 17, 15 & 14 and we have been dirvorced for over 6 years. Currently, my ex is over $13,000 behind in back child suport payments - when he has a job child support is automatically deducted from his pay (court ordered) but he rarely works anymore than 4-6 months at a time and it takes upwards of 2 months for the "paperwork" to catch up that he is working . Because of this it has created a hardship for the last several years including, with loss of $178 in child support, I pay full medical for all three which amounts to nearly the same amount per week. My question is this, even once the kids kids are 18 and or on their own, am I still owed the back child support? He keeps insisting that next year I lower my child support request once the oldest turns 18. I don't think it's fair, morally, for him to shirk the responsibility owed to the kids and me for the years we have had to struggle - the back monies would go a long ways towards furthering the children's education. I don't believe that he can just walk away scott free once they are all 18 or older. Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank-you very much for taking the time to read my request.
2 Answers from Attorneys
First, I wanted to point out that child support obligations in New York State do not terminate until the child(ren) turn 21, not 18 as in some other states.
Yes; The obligation to pay child support arrears does NOT terminate when the child(ren) turn 21 in New York State. Child support arrears will remain an outstanding obligation that must be paid and can be attached to unemployment or even Social Security.
As far as advise to be given the only thing I can tell you is that each situation is different so you may wish to talk to an attorney in more detail about your personal situation. There is more personal/confidential information necessary to formulate a suggested plan that should NOT be discussed in a public forum such as this one.
If you wish you may contact me or seek a referral to an attorney from the Bar Association.
I wish you well.
Child support arrears cannot be waived and he will continue to owe them even after the children are emancipated. Also, child support does not terminate until age 21, unless the child is engaged in full time employment and is deemed to be emancipated. You should speak with an attorney from your area for further assistance.