Three Questions About New York Child Support
The laws surrounding child support in New York can sometimes be confusing. It’s natural to have questions. Here are three questions about New York child support commonly asked by our clients that should give you a better understanding of how these aspects of family law work.
Will I Be Obligated to Pay for My Child’s College Tuition?
Child support in New York State includes several components. There’s basic child support, which is a percentage of income, and then there is mandatory add-on support. Mandatory add-on support includes health insurance premiums, the cost of unreimbursed medical and dental expenses, and daycare expenses. College expenses are not mandatory add-ons. Most judges look at the parties’ totaling income, resources available to each party, savings that they may have, and the child’s ability to obtain financing for school, and then make a determination as to how much college support should be paid by either party. That can and does, in many cases, result in a reduction of the basic child support, simply because there may not be enough money to pay all of those expenses at once.
Will I Have to Pay Support After My Child Turns 21?
In New York State, a judge cannot order the payment of child support past the age of 21. Because college is considered a discretionary add-on to child support, it would be included in support that cannot be ordered past the 21st birthday of any child. Most children who attend college do not finish by their 21st birthday. We try to negotiate that issue when we are negotiating agreements. If we cannot, and a judge must be involved in the process to make the decision, the payments will not include college expenses past the age of 21.
What Happens if I Pay Too Much Child Support?
We often have clients ask us if they can get a refund on child support that was overpaid. The general answer in New York State is that, no, you cannot. There is a public policy position in New York that prohibits a court from allowing a clawback or a refund back for support that’s been overpaid. If we were in court, for example, on a modification petition, we would ask the court to issue a temporary order that protects that payment stream so that, if there is a reduction in support down the road, there will be a refund or a clawback on the funds that didn’t have to be paid because of the reduction. Without that order, the court generally takes the position that it is powerless to order a refund.
If you have any more questions, please contact our office today. We would be happy to answer them.