Emancipation is the legal concept to determine when your child or children are “beyond the sphere” of your influence. Emancipation of a child will coincide with the termination of child support payments from one parent to the other parent. In an agreement, between divorcing parents or of unmarried parents, parents can contract and agree to the triggering events for emancipating a child.
For example, those termination events could be:
- Graduation from a 4 year college;
- Completion of a high school education without enrolling in a college or trade school thereafter;
- Entry into the armed services; or
- Obtaining full time employment.
A carefully crafted agreement will make note of the number of credits per semester a child should be taking to complete their college degree within a certain period of time. That agreement might also make note that summer vacations and/or a semester off does or does not qualify as a termination event for child support payments.
An application for the termination of child support will likely be made around that child’s 18th birthday. It is at that time a “prima facie” case for emancipation can be made by the supporting parent.
To evaluate whether or not your child(ren) is emancipated, contact the attorneys at Shane and White, LLC to discuss your options for terminating your support obligations or extending your receipt of child support for your unemancipated child(ren).