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Can a custodial parent file for child support even if the child is over 18?

Q: My husband has a daughter with a woman who lives in New York. She has never put him on child support and has never asked for assistance from him. Now she is threatening to take him to court because he can't afford to help with their daughter's tuition. He is already paying child support for his other 3 children with his ex wife.

They were never married and he is not on the birth certificate. Their daughter will be 22 next month. Can she file even though shes already over 18 and if she does will he have to pay back on previous years as well? She has known where he lived the entire time and only let him see their daughter when she turned 18 and told him she didn't want/need his help.

A: David's Answer: If the subject child is 22, then the mother cannot file either for paternity or child support - at least not in Family Court (FCA 517). Child support is theoretically only retroactive to the filing of the petition, and since that child's already emancipated, there can be no issuance of an order. Call a NYC Family Law attorney to schedule a consult for more info. - David Bliven, Bronx Family Law attorney (

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