Parents pay child support for their children’s benefit. Prior to July 1, 2012, a parent’s child support obligation, including educational expenses, ceased when the child turned 21 years of age unless the child was incapacitated. Effective July 1, 2012, the presumptive age to terminate child support was reduced to 19 years of age. However, this terminated support obligation does not include support for educational needs such as college. As set forth above, the child support continues during the child’s incapacity or until further order of the court.
The court shall grant emancipation and terminate child support prior to the age of 19 if the court finds that the child:
- is on active duty in the United States armed services;
- has married; or
- is not under the care or control of either parent or an individual of the court’s approved agency.
Unlike other child support modification requests, a termination of child support based upon emancipation dates back to the actual date of emancipation, not the date the petition to terminate support was filed with the court.