Emancipation and Other Child Support Issues

Divorced Florida parents need to be cognizant of when child support ends so they aren't surprised when payments stop or extend beyond the child's eighteenth birthday. In most instances, child support ends either when the minor child graduates from high school or turns 18 if they graduate prior to reaching the age of majority. There are other events that might cause child support to terminate early.

In cases where a minor child is emancipated, a child support obligation will end. This can occur if the child gets married or joins the military prior to their eighteenth birthday. When a minor moves out of their custodial parent's home and supports themselves entirely, they can be deemed emancipated. If that occurs, the custodial parent is no longer entitled to child support and the order will end.

The financial circumstances of parents sometimes change while the child is still being supported by both parents. When one parent has a significant increase or decrease in income, either parent can request a modification of the support order. The court will review the income of both parents and adjust the monthly amount due to more fairly reflect the assets of the paying parent. An order might also be modified if the child has extraordinary needs.

A family law attorney can help a parent file and receive a new child support order, get an existing order modified or end an order when a child becomes emancipated. While a child support order is in effect, it is important for the noncustodial parent to make the payments as scheduled. Parents who are unable to pay due to their financial situation should contact an attorney immediately.

Source: FindLaw, "When Does Child Support End?", accessed on Feb. 5, 2015

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