Emancipation of Minors

Emancipation of Minors

Under New York Law, parents are obligated to support their un-emancipated children until they reach the age of 21. The amount of child support can be fixed in a court order, or in the parents’ written agreement. However, issues related to child custody and visitations are no longer considered after a child reaches the age of 18.

The parents can increase the period of time for their child support obligation beyond the age of 21 by agreement. They may also agree that the obligation to pay child support continues after the death of a parent. This kind of agreement will be enforced by the Courts.

If a child becomes emancipated before he or she is 21 years old, this will not relieve the parent who is obligated to pay child support from his or her obligation to support the child under the terms of the parents’ agreement.

The parents’ obligation to support a child can be terminated before the child reaches the age of 21, based upon the child’s emancipation.

Not sure about how this affects your custody, visitation, or support case?

The impact of a child becoming emancipated upon child custody, visitation, and support can be very complicated. If you have concerns emanating from your particular situation, it is essential to obtain legal advice and direction so that you can know exactly where you stand and what steps you might need to take. Family law attorney Ingrid Gherman can help you understand these complexities, including your rights and obligations, and can guide you on the best course of action. Her knowledge on this issue of child support, as well as child custody and visitation is based on many years of experience. To get the benefit of her experience, contact Ingrid’s law office to schedule a consultation be calling (212) 941-0767 or send the convenient on-line form.

Circumstances Where a Minor Child is Emancipated

A child is considered to be emancipated when he or she is employed and capable of supporting himself or herself independent of the parents’ financial support, becomes married, enrolls in the military, or engages in outrageous misbehavior.

Other conditions under which a child under twenty-one years of age might be emancipated include:

  • When the child withdraws from parental control and supervision without justification; does not live with either parents (unless the child is away from home attending school, camp, college, or other temporary situation)
  • If the child leaves his/her parents’ home without any good reason and refuses to obey the parents’ reasonable demands.
  • If a parent believes that his or her child is emancipated before the child reaches the age of 21, the parent should not discontinue paying child support without first making a formal application to the court to declare that the child is emancipated and to modify any order of child support by declaring that it is terminated as of a specific date.
After a Child is 21 Years Old

Generally, a parent’s child support obligation terminates upon the child reaching the age of 21. However, the parents can agree that the support obligation will continue beyond the child’s 21st birthday. For example, if the child is enrolled and attends college full time for a continuous period of 4 years, the parents often agree that child support payments are extended until the child reaches the age of 22 years.

Do you have more questions and concerns?

Contact Ingrid Gherman, a New York divorce lawyer with more than 35 years experience practicing matrimonial law. To discuss your case with Ingrid, call (212) 941-0767 or send the on-line inquiry form to schedule a consultation.