Skip to main content

Can the custodial parent be changed once the child turns 18 in New York State?

Syracuse, NY |

My 19 year old son currently lives with me and I am the custodial parent but his mother has offered him a car if he moves in with her and attends college and is taking me to court to pay child support for him. Can she do this?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. She can petition the court for custody. If there is no agreement between the parties the court will have to decide what is in the best interest of the child.

    I have been a criminal attorney in New York for almost 25 years. website: Brooklynlaw.net Phone #: 718-208-6094 email: howard@brooklynlaw.net. This answer is only for informational purposes and is not meant as legal advice.


  2. Perhaps. Child custody jurisdiction expires at age 18. Child support jurisdiction expires at age 21 or "emancipation" of the child (attending college is not emancipation, even if away from home). So, if the child lives with her, you could be a non-custodial parent liable for support if a support or support modification petition is brought in Family Court. Is there currently a support order requiring the mother to pay you child support? (Just curious).

    This answer is provided under the Avvo.com “Terms and Conditions of Use” (“ToU”), particularly ¶9 which states that any information provided is not intended as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship between you and me or any other attorney. Such information is intended for general informational purposes only and should be used only as a starting point for addressing your legal issues. In particular, my answers and those of others are not a substitute for an in-person or telephone consultation with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction about your specific legal issue, and you should not rely solely upon Legal Information you obtain from this website or other resources which may be linked to an answer for informational purposes. You understand that questions and answers or other postings to the Site are not confidential and are not subject to attorney-client privilege. The full Avvo ToU are set forth at http://www.avvo.com/support/terms . In addition, while similar legal principles often apply in many states, I am only licensed to practice in the State of New York and Federal Courts. Any general information I provide about non-New York laws should be checked with an attorney licensed to practice in your State. Lastly, New York State Court rules (22 NYCRR Part 1200, Rule 7.1) also require me to inform you that my answers and attorney profile posted on the Avvo.com site may be considered "attorney advertising" and that "prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome".


  3. At age 19, the child can choose who he or she wants to live with. The court cannot order that one parent has custody for a child of that age.

    Child support, in NY, generally goes until the child reaches age 21. Whichever parent the child is living with can petition for child support from the non-custodial parent.

    It is always advisable to contact an attorney. For a consultation, please contact our office at 516-669-3295. We are located in West Babylon, NY and proudly offer very low rates and free consultations. For more information, please see our website: <a href="http://www.LouisLSternbergLaw.com">Long Island Divorce Lawyer Louis Sternberg.</a>

Child custody topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics