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Child support obligations can end in diverse ways

Child support is an important way that a noncustodial parent may provide for their children. In Colorado, child support is imposed through agreements and orders set forth by family courts. Many support agreements and orders include provisions regarding how the paying parent's obligation will eventually end, though this post will discuss in general some of the means by which a parent may be relieved of their child support mandate.

First, child support often ends when a child becomes emancipated. Emancipation occurs generally at the age of nineteen and when the child receiving the support attains that age the paying parent's obligation comes to an end. Emancipation can occur earlier in a child's life if that child marries or moves away from their parents' home and is able to provide for themselves. A court may also determine that a child is emancipated and therefore end their receipt of support.

Second, child support can end by agreement of the child's parents. Parents may, for example, choose to support a child through college or another milestone; if both parents agree to support a child beyond the age of emancipation then an obligation to pay can survive that age as well.

Third, child support can be mandated by a court beyond the age of nineteen if the child suffers from a mental or physical disability. These cases are considered individually and readers with specific questions regarding this type of situation are encouraged to speak with their family law attorneys.

Finally, child support may be extended past the age of nineteen if the child is still in high school or an equivalent program. Since the facts of individual child support cases can greatly depend upon the circumstances of a family, individuals who wish to delve deeper into their personal child support quandaries are encouraged to discuss their questions with licensed family law professionals.

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