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How emancipation affects child support payments

Some Florida children whose custodial parents receive child support might become legally emancipated before reaching the age of 18. If this happens, the noncustodial parent might no longer be obligated to pay child support.

Getting married or joining the military might result in the child being considered legally emancipated. Children might also become emancipated by abandoning their home or by becoming economically independent. However, if the married child divorces and is still younger than 18, it may be necessary for the noncustodial parent to resume child support payments.

If a child has special needs, one parent may be obligated to continue with child support payments even after the child turns 18. Furthermore, child support payments do not come to an end automatically. A parent must request that the payments be terminated whether the child turns 18 or becomes emancipated prior to that.

Parents may also negotiate other types of payments and expenses. It may be particularly important to a parent that the child participate in a particular extracurricular activity, such as playing an instrument or a sport, and the parent might agree to pay all expenses associated with that. Parents may agree to pay some or all of a child's college expenses. Child support payments might also be modified if a parent takes on a significant other expense, such as the child's health care, or if the parent has a significant change in income. Parents may want to include arrangements about costs that are not part of a child's basic living expenses in their parenting agreement. A parenting agreement might also include other matters ranging from how much time children will spend with other family members to arrangements for vacations to plans for conflict resolution. A Venice, Florida child support attorney might help a parent negotiate this agreement.

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