In most cases of child support, the same is paid until the child reaches the age of 21, or if agreed upon, until the last semester of a child’s senior year of a four-year college program during which the child turns 22.
There are reasons, however, that a child can be deemed emancipated before they turn 21 years old, such as the child is in the military or married (even if the marriage is voidable). Additionally, the Court has held that a child who is of employable age, voluntarily and without cause leave’s their parents’ home, against the parent’s wishes, that child has forfeited their right to demand support. It is significant to note, however, that if that child has fled their parent’s home due to abuse than the parent will still be obligated to support that child, even if the child does not reside with them.
In instances where the parent is paying child support, emancipation does not immediately terminate upon the happening of one of the above events, without a court order. For example, if payment is being made through the Child Support Collection Unit, a motion for termination will need to be made to Court so that an order can be obtained terminating the support officially. To do so, the parent seeking termination should consult with an attorney to ensure the motion is filed properly and on time.