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

UPDATED: May 27, 2011

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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


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

Answered 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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