New York Child Support and College Tuition

Jodee Redmond
The Court can order both child support and college tuition payments.

In New York, child support and college tuition may be ordered until the child reaches the age of 21. In matters concerning custody and visitation, however, the young person is considered to be an adult once he or she turns 18.

Emancipation of the Child

The idea that a parent has a duty to provide financial support until age 21 is not written in stone. Under certain circumstances, the parental responsibility may be terminated at an earlier age. If the young person becomes financially independent from his or her parents due to one of the following circumstances, parents are no longer bound to provide support:

  • Marriage
  • Enlisting in the Armed Forces
  • Full-time employment

Calculating New York Child Support and College Tuition

New York child support and college tuition payments are ordered by the Court. A judge calculates the basic child support amount and determines what portion of this figure should be paid by the non-custodial parent. Gross income figures for both parents are added together and multiplied by the child support percentage set out in the Child Support Standards Act ("CSSA"). These percentages are as follows:

Child Support Calculator
Number of Children Percentage of Parents' Income
One 17%
Two 25%
Three 29%
Four 31%
Five or More Minimum of 35%

If the non-custodial parent is looking for work or has no income, a minimum payment of $25 per month will be ordered for child support. The Court may, at its discretion, order that the non-custodial parent cover the cost of post-secondary or special education courses for his or her child. This figure is over and above the basic level of child support listed above.

Insurance for the Child Support Awarded

Once the amount of child support and/or college tuition has been set, do make arrangements for life and disability insurance coverage for the non-custodial parent. The cost of the premiums is well worth the financial security the coverage provides.

Child Support Agreement for a Different Amount

A New York couple does have the right to make an alternate arrangement when it comes to child support. Any waiver to the provisions of the CSSA must be a written agreement between the two parties. A provision indicating that each person is aware of the amount of child support that would have been awarded under the provisions of the legislation must be included in the agreement in order to make it valid.

Bankruptcy and Child Support

Declaring bankruptcy does not relieve the non-custodial parent from his or her obligation to pay child support. If the non-custodial parent's financial circumstances change dramatically, the appropriate course of action is to seek a variation in the amount of child support payable.

Visitation and Child Support

If the non-custodial parent's visitation privileges with the child or children are interfered with, that person does not have the right to withhold child support payments until the situation is resolved. The payments are still due and payable as ordered.

Medical Insurance for Children

Another issue that should be included in the support agreement is that of medical insurance for the children. The Court will decide which parent will be responsible for paying the cost of the insurance. This is not necessarily the non-custodial parent, however. Often, the parent with the best or most economical coverage will be ordered to pay the expense of medical insurance.

New York Child Support and College Tuition