If I’m 18 can I still sue my father for back child support?

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If I’m 18 can I still sue my father for back child support?

I’ve lived with my grandma since I was 4, when both my father and mother left me. My father never gave me a cent of support and I need it now more than ever. I have no money and I’m going to college.

Asked on May 27, 2011 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I can understand your frustration and can see your need. May I ask:  was there ever a child support order in place? Is there arrears?  Is your Grandmother your custodian?  All these are questions that need to be answered. 

In New York, child support arrears enforcement is limited to 20 years from date of default in payment regardless of whether or not the past due has been reduced to a judgment for support orders entered after 8/7/87; 6 years for default in payment on orders entered on or before 8/7/87; 20 years for all defaults in payment which have been granted as a money judgment.

The age of majority in New York is 21 years of age. Duty to provide support is terminated automatically at 21 unless specifically stipulated in the support order. (FCA 413(1)a). Under some circumstances, such as a child's handicap or stipulation in a divorce decree, the court may extend the obligation beyond age 21.  Get help here ASAP and sue yourself if there was never an order.  Good luck with this and with College.  You have endured a lot and you are lucky to have had a Grandparent to care for you.  And regardless of the outcome it appears that you have the strength to come out of this on top.


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