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Are you financial obligated to pay child support for an emancipated adult (age 19)in MA who decides to move and reside in NY?

Utica, NY |

Over 7 years ago I surrendered my adoptive rights back to the department of social services for my niece that became extremely rebellious, making it difficult for me to care for. She is now 19 and aged out of the DSS system at 18 in MA. She decided after living with her boyfriend and living on her own VIA an independent living program to leave Boston with boyfriend (age 20) and with her 1 year old child to pursue her Bio mom in NY. She collected welfare in the state of MA while living in NY and recently applied for welfare in the state of NY Utica for her family of three. I received a summons order for child support for her family entire family which includes her boyfriend and child. She has an apt in NY where she is the head of Household. They allegedly are saying that the boyfriend is di

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Attorney answers 4


Not sure if this applies, but see page 22, just above "food stamp benefits".

How Long Does A Parent Have To Pay Child Support?
parent has an obligation to pay child support for a child u
ntil (s)he is 21 years of age. After the child reaches 21 years of
age, the parent remains obligated to pay only past
due support/arrears.

The above is not intended to be legal advice, but may be used for general information. Please contact an attorney for specific help tailored to your needs.


Not sure why you would be summoned since you gave up your rights. Consult with a local family law attorney. Also, normally parents and not aunt's are responsible for child support.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or



I've been summons since I adopted her and my name is on her birth certificate as her mother.


Just because you received a summons does not mean there is a viable case. However, NY sets age out at 21 so people flock here to work the system.

As I understand it, your niece, her boyfriend and their baby sought welfare and their local DSS is seeking money from you.

The way I understand Article 4 of the Family Court Act, you should have liability for this family. The FCA requires non-custodial oarents to pay support to the custodial parent for their child. Aunts don't count and the father of the child cannot tap into your reserves to fund his activities.

Tell this to the court if the court will listen. There is a zeal in getting dead beats to pay up so don't get caught in the politics of the moment. Hire a lawyer.

Good luck.


You may have several defenses. The one that comes to mind particularly is that the child under NY could be seen as having constructively emancipated herself while in Mass and if that determination applies to you by subrogation, you should have no liability despite SS' position. Obtain consultation with your local counsel to better define and address the issue.

If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice nor creates an attorney client relationship which requires all the details and a personal conference.

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