Child Support Emancipation

When Do Child Support Payments End?

Child support emancipation is a phrase used to describe when a parent is no longer required to pay child support. Many people wrongly assume that, once the child reaches age 18, child support automatically stops. Several factors can come into play that may require a parent to continue paying child support beyond the age of majority.

The requirements surrounding a parent's obligation to pay child support can be quite confusing. It is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side who understands the law and will work to see that your interests and the interests of your children are protected. At Stange Law Firm, PC, we represent clients throughout Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma in all types of child support matters.

Emancipation: Understanding Child Support Obligations

In general, once a child turns 18, the parent's obligation to pay child support ends unless the child is still in school. If the child completes high school and goes onto college or vocational school, the parent's obligation continues until the child turns 21 or completes the educational program, whichever comes first. In addition, if the child is permanently impaired and will never become self-sufficient, the court may extend child support.

In Illinois, emancipation occurs when a child graduates from high school or graduates, whichever occurs first. In Kansas, emancipation takes place at18, or until high school graduation if the child turns 18 while still in school.

Other circumstances that could eliminate the parent's child support obligation include:

  • If the child passes away
  • If the child gets married
  • If the child goes on active duty in the military
  • If the child becomes self-sufficient

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