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My 20 yr old daughter recently moved out. Does her father still pay child support until she's 21?

Salisbury Center, NY |

My ex husband and I have a verbal agreement for support not court ordered. My daughter has finished college but does not graduate until June.

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Attorney answers 5


If she moved out and is living on her own, then the father can seek to terminate child support because she would be deemed to be emancipated. However, if she moved out to move into the dorms or other campus housing, he may still be required to pay child support.


Child support is payable until 21. However, if your daughter moved out of your home then you are not supporting her and he would not have to pay support to you. In addition, if she is now self supporting then he would not have to pay support. As you indicate that there are no court orders, you should be aware that it would be impossible to get one as the courts do not have jurisdiction to award custody of a 20 year old which would be required for an order of support.

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By law, he has to provide child support until she turns 21 or is otherwise emancipated. Because there is no court order for support, you may want to bring a petition for support so that the court can decide the emancipation issue.

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It depends upon whether your daughter is self-supporting or not and whether you are still supporting her. If she moved out and you are paying her rent or still giving her money for rent, the court could order child support. Since her father is voluntarily paying for support, you should ask him to continue paying child support.

Even though the court has no jurisdiction concerning the issue of custody once your daughter reached the age of 18, the court can still order child support for a child between the ages of 18 and 21 based upon the determination of whether your daughter is still primarily living and/or being supported by you. If she is supporting herself and not living with you or in the dorms, you would probably have no entitlement to child support.

Advice on this forum is for informational purposes only and should never be mistaken as a substitution for legal advice. Answering a question does not create an attorney client relationship. If you need legal advice, you should consult or retain legal counsel.


Child support is until 21 years of age, unless emancipated earlier. If you and your ex husband have an agreement without a court order, then the two of you can do whatever you want. If you wish ti get an order, then file a petition with the local family court. Also, review your divorce judgment to make sure that there is no order of child support.

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