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New York Child Support at a Glance

Child support is payment pursuant to a court order by agreement for the care and maintenance of any unemancipated child under 21 years. The case law and statutory law are quite clear in that both parents have an equal obligation to support the children of the marriage. The support obligation will terminate prior to the age of 21 years if the child becomes emancipated. Emancipation is a question of fact but would include, among other things, the marriage of the child, the full-time employment of the child, or the child residing way from the residence of the custodial parent.

On September 15, 1989 the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) became effective. This sweeping new legislation (sometimes unofficially called the "guidelines") amends Section 240 of the Domestic Relation Law to require that the court provide for the child support and that an award of child support be made in accordance with subdivision 1-b of that section. Identical child support provisions were included in Section 413 (1-b) of the Family Court Act.


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The filing spouse must file and serve a verified complaint stating grounds for the divorce. In addition to the verified complaint there are other documents that must be filed including Affidavits and a Marital Settlement Agreement setting out division of property, spousal and child support.
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