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Liable for tuition payments?

Discussion in 'Child Support' started by BillMC3020, Aug 19, 2021.

  1. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Under New York State law, both parents must financially support their child until the child turns 21 years old. Child support also includes providing health insurance coverage until the child turns 21 years old.

    If the child is under 21 and married, self-supporting, or in the military then the child is emancipated and the parents don't have to support the child.
     
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  2. Red Kayak

    Red Kayak Well-Known Member

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    This was adequately addressed by @army judge in post #4.
     
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  3. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    For purposes of NY's child support law, a child is not automatically emancipated at age 18. For that particular purpose, it occurs at age 21. As explained by a NY appellate court:

    Statutorily, parental-child support obligations continue until the child attains the age of 21 (Family Court Act § 413[1][a] ), unless the child is sooner emancipated. Emancipation of the child suspends or terminates this duty to support (Matter of Commissioner of Social Servs. [Jones] v. Jones–Gamble, 227 A.D.2d 618, 643 N.Y.S.2d 182 [1996] ). The Practice Commentaries for § 413 summarize the case law defining emancipation in these terms: “Emancipation is also automatic when the child marries or enlists in the military service. A gainfully employed child who is fully self-supporting and economically independent from the parents may also be deemed to be emancipated. Or the parties may provide for emancipation contingencies in a written agreement or stipulation” (emphasis added).

    Additionally, a child may self-emancipate prior to age 21 where he or she willingly abandons the parent. This implies that the child has become independent, that he or she has willfully abandoned the parent by refusing to abide by reasonable instructions or demands of the parent, and that such abandonment was not the result of actions on the part of the parent (see Matter of Roe v. Doe, 29 N.Y.2d 188, 324 N.Y.S.2d 71, 272 N.E.2d 567, supra; see also Matter of Parker v. Stage, 43 N.Y.2d 128, 400 N.Y.S.2d 794, 371 N.E.2d 513 [1977] ).

    The issue of emancipation is significant because a finding of emancipation terminates the parental obligation of support (see Matter of Bailey v. Bailey, 15 A.D.3d 577, 790 N.Y.S.2d 215 [2005] ).

    New York courts have repeatedly spoken on the issue of emancipation. “[C]hildren are deemed emancipated if they attain economic independence through employment, entry into military service or marriage and, further, may be deemed constructively emancipated if, without cause, they withdraw from parental supervision and control” (Matter of Bogin v. Goodrich, 265 A.D.2d 779, 781, 696 N.Y.S.2d 317 [1999] ).

    Thomas B. v. Lydia D., 69 A.D.3d 24, 28–29, 886 N.Y.S.2d 22, 25–26 (2009).

    In a relatively recent case, a NY appellate court upheld the trial court's award of support that included payment of the child's private college tuition expenses. That court too noted that that: “It is fundamental public policy in New York that parents [of minor children] are responsible for their children's support until age 21”. O'Rourke v. O'Rourke, 139 A.D.3d 1027, 1028, 31 N.Y.S.3d 600, 602 (2016). You'll note that the court refers to children under age 21 as minors, reinforcing that for child support purposes one is not emancipated automatically at age 18, but instead at age 21.
     
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  4. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    New York's a bit of an odd bird. The responsibility upon parents to support a child continues until the child turns 21 (with some exceptions), thus becoming emancipated.

    Emancipated Child | NY CourtHelp

    EDIT: For further clarification, it's possible for a "child" who is under 21 to be emancipated, thus requiring the use of the qualifier in the phrase you quoted.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2021
  5. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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  6. BillMC3020

    BillMC3020 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Everyone, thanks a lot ! I truly appreciate the all feedback and we're working on following up with an attorney. Your feedback provided some insight so again thanks.
     
  7. stealthy1

    stealthy1 Active Member

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    @zddoodah:

     

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