When Your Child is Emancipated Do You Still Have to Pay Child Support?


When Your Child is Emancipated Do You Still Have to Pay Child Support?

When you first hear that your child is becoming emancipated, hope can dawn on many a cash strapped parent and ex-spouse. One question usually comes to their mind. When your child is emancipated do you still have to pay child support? But the issue isn’t that simple. It’s more complicated. Your child support responsibility doesn’t automatically end due to emancipation. Instead, you have to petition the court in order to terminate child support. Proceedings from this point vary according to state law. Child support laws vary considerably from state to state. In some states the minute a child turns eighteen child support is over. Whereas in other states it’s when the child turns twenty one or it could even depend on when they finish college. Emancipation itself is a different issue, but the laws on child support will influence the court’s ruling. There are states that require child support be paid to an emancipated child. Even though an emancipated child is supposed to be financially self-sufficient the court could decide that they receive a stipend monthly until they become a certain age. The original child support order may run in tandem or be extinguished due to this. It pays to have an experienced attorney on your side to help navigate this complicated issue.

Make sure you attend your child’s emancipation hearing. Your input won’t be heard otherwise and they may make a decision that is unfavorable to you. It doesn’t matter whether or not you support your child’s decision to become emancipated. You will be able to give your testimony and take part in the decision making process. Your input will be considered. Have with you a copy of your divorce decree. The judge may ask to read it in order to get better acquainted with the case. If they see for instance that this father is paying $400 per month in child support, the judge may redirect that money to the child. Or the court may decide that each party should contribute $200 per month to the child. The age of your kid is one of the most important factors. This will weigh heavily on the judge’s head. If it is a seventeen year old boy the judge may believe that the money being paid to the child is warranted, even if they can support themselves. The judge may also consider the position of each parent. If a parent is against the emancipation they may not grant the child support to the child. If you are angry at your ex-spouse, don’t direct that anger at your child or let that anger cloud your good judgment. Make sure that throughout you have the child’s best interest in mind. For more advice on child support read, Child Support Dollar$ and Sense for NCPs: Practical Advice, Guidance, Resources, and Much More for Non-Custodial Parents Juggling Child Support Issues by Marty Vaughn.

Visitation and Child Support are Mutually Exclusive

Visitation Child Support Exlusive Divorce

Unfortunately, children from a broken marriage are often used as weapons by their divorced parents. The hurt feelings that come with divorce are often accompanied by blame and a desire by one or both parents to get even with the other for the failed marriage. In these situations, children sometimes become a useful tool improperly used by either parent to injure the other.

The two most common scenarios involve child support and visitation. A custodial parent will sometimes deny regularly scheduled visitations with the children to a non-custodial parent who fails to make regular child support payments. Conversely, a non-custodial parent will sometimes withhold support payments to a custodial parent who refuses to allow regularly scheduled visitations with the children. In either case, both parents are wrong. Such actions will further place the offending parent(s) in violation of the divorce judgment and will subject him/her/them to punishment by the court. These are classic examples of where two wrongs do not make a right.

The obligation of the non-custodial parent to pay child support must be separated from the custodial parent’s duty to allow regular visitation with the children. One is not dependent on the other. If either parent does not honor his/her lawful obligations, then recourse must be sought through an appropriate application to the court. A court will come down hard on any parent that has not acted in the best interests of children. In situations such as those above, both parents will be admonished by the court and punished accordingly. The lesson here is for divorced parents to remain civil toward one another, especially where children are involved. Family counseling is strongly suggested when either parent finds it difficult to follow the legal rule of reason.

Custodial Parents Can Leave The State With Their Children Only With Court Approval

leaving with kids

The court system will attempt to make the best decision for any children involved.  They will want to ensure that the non-custodial parent isn’t too inhibited from seeing his or her children by the move, but will also weigh the potential benefits of the move for the children.  There will be many factors that the court will take into consideration when making this decision and these factors may vary depending on where you live or other circumstances.

If it’s decided by the court that the overall quality of life of the children would be improved by a move out of state, the court might allow it.  Some of the factors that could be considered are:

  1. Being closer to people who can help out with the children, such as relatives of the custodial parent;
  2. An increase in income for the custodial parent upon moving or a new job opportunity;
  3. A new marriage;
  4. An educational opportunity that would benefit the custodial parent and/or the children.

Relocation laws may vary depending on your state of residence.  Most states will have a similar system of how they decide whether or not a custodial parent can leave the state with his or her children.  It usually comes down to whether or not the court feels that the children will be better off in some way from moving to another state and this of course would have to outweigh the detrimental effects of the child being separated from the non-custodial parent.

Child Support Is Based On A Strict Formula

child supprt

According to New York State government divorce laws, children under the age of 21 are entitled to support payments from the non-custodial parent.  The support is calculated after first calculating the gross income (income before taxes are taken out) of both parents.  Income may also include any benefits the parents may have from pensions, disability, retirement, fellowships, unemployment insurance, etc.

After calculating the incomes of both parents, the incomes are combined and then divided by a percentage based on how many children the parents have together:  One child = 17%, Two children = 25%, Three children = 29%, and so on.

For example, if one parent makes $30,000 per year and the other parent makes $50,000, then the combined income is $80,000.  If they only have one child together, the combined income of $80,000 would be multiplied by 17%.  This would amount to $13,600, which the custodial parent would only be responsible for 25% of, with the remainder left for the non-custodial parent to pay.  The non-custodial parent, having to pay 75%, would be obligated to pay $10,200 per year, or $196 per week.

The hearing examiner can order a different amount based on several factors, such as the financial resources of each parent and tax implications.

Formulas may vary depending on the state you live in, so it’s suggested that you do your research according to your state of residence to determine how much child support you will either be receiving or supplying. This is free information you can find through government websites.