When a parent is paying child support, one of the most important things to remember as the child begins to reach legal age for adulthood is when the payments will stop. This is also referred to as emancipation, meaning that the child can technically support him or herself. When the child is an adult, the child support payments will end.
Knowing when emancipation takes place is important so the parent knows when to stop making payments, the custodial parent will be aware that the payments are coming to an end, and the child is cognizant that it is stopping. If the child support order was entered on or after July 1, 1997, the support will continue until the child turns 19. This will be true unless the court finds that the child was emancipated prior to turning 19.
There are conditions in which the termination of child support will not happen. They are: if the parties have a written stipulation for it to be so after July 1, 1997; if there is a mental or physical disability and the court orders there to be support and payments for medical care or insurance beyond the age of 19; if the child remains in high school or a program that is its equivalent, then the payments will continue until the end of the month in which he or she graduates; if the child gets married, except if the marriage is annulled there is a divorce or it is declared invalid, then support can restart; or if the child enters the military.
Emancipation is an important time for the child and the parents. When there are questions or concerns about child support and how long it must continue depending on the circumstances of the child turning 19 and becoming emancipated, having legal assistance is essential. A lawyer who understands Colorado child support can be of assistance.