When a child becomes emancipated

In the state of Texas, children become legally emancipated when they reach the age of majority. If their parents are divorced, the noncustodial parent will no longer have an obligation to pay child support. In some rare cases, however, the child may become legally emancipated before reaching the age of majority.

This may happen for a few reasons. First, they may get married, meaning they will become legally responsible for supporting their new family. They may reach economic independence before they reach the age of majority. They may completely abandon their parental home or they may become active members in the military.

There are also certain cases where a noncustodial parent may still be responsible for paying child support even when the child reaches the age of majority. For example, some children with special needs may not be able to support themselves. If a married minor gets a divorce, the court may determine that they still need child support once the divorce is finalized.

Parents who pay child support should be aware that their obligation does not automatically terminate the moment a child reaches the age of majority. A family law attorney may assist with filing a request to have the child support terminated due to the age of the child. If the noncustodial parent just stops making payments, the custodial parent could request that the court take child support enforcement measures. The attorney may assist with providing the court with evidence to show that the child has reached the age of majority and no longer needs the child support that the parent was paying.

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