When the decision is made to end a marriage a number of practical decisions must then follow as part of the divorce proceeding that legally ends the marriage. If there are minor children involved, a number of those practical decisions will involve, or center around, the children. Who will have physical and legal custody of the children? How will visitation be arranged for the non-custodial parent? If you are to be the non-custodial parent, you will also likely be ordered to pay child support to the custodial parent. One question you may have as a result is "How long do I have to pay child support?"
Each divorce is as unique as the marriage being ended by the divorce. For this reason, there are no universal answers to questions regarding orders that will become part of the final divorce decree. There are, however, some guidelines and generalities that may help you if you are planning to go through a divorce in Queens. Specific questions, however, should always be directed to your Queens divorce attorney.
As a general rule, the parent paying child support in Queens will be obligated to pay support until the minor child reaches the age of 18 or until the child graduates from high school - whichever happens last as long as the child is in school. There are situations, however, in which a child support obligation may be terminated early or when it is extended past the age of 18 (or graduation from high school).
If your child petitions to be legally emancipated, for example, and the court grants the request, your child support obligation will terminate. Likewise, if your child gets married prior to his or her 18th birthday your support obligation may end. Note that your child having a child doesn't automatically end your obligation to pay support.
If your child is a special needs child your support obligation could extend past the child's 18th birthday. By the same token, your obligation could extend past that date by agreement. In some divorces the parties agree that support will continue to be paid if the child goes on to enroll in higher education.
Because each divorce is unique, the best way to ensure that you understand your obligations and your legal options is to consult the divorce attorneys at SIMON & GILMAN, LLP.