Emancipation and Child Support


Pasadena child support payments will normally end when a child either turns 18, graduates from high school, or turns 19. In some circumstances, however, support payments may end earlier.

An emancipated minor is a child under the age of 18 who has petitioned the court to have the same basic legal rights as an adult. The court can allow a child to become legally emancipated if he or she meets the following criteria:

  • Is at least 14 years old
  • Wants to get married and has parental permission
  • Joins the armed forces with parental permission
  • Does not want to live at home and has parental permission
  • Has a legal way to be self supporting and is able to successfully manage his own money

A runaway or a child who has simply been forced out of his parent's home is not an emancipated minor. Emancipation is a legal process that requires a judge's consent.

If your child becomes emancipated, you no longer have a duty to provide financial support. However, child support payments will not be automatically terminated when a child becomes emancipated through means other than reaching the age of majority. If you are paying child support for a child who becomes emancipated, you need to file a request for the court to stop the payments. You will still be responsible for the full payment of any past due child support obligation. Emancipation does not erase child support arrears.

In rare cases, emancipation can be canceled by the court if the child no longer has a way to be self supporting. Under these circumstances, child support payments may once again be necessary.

How Can We Help?

Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com if you have questions or concerns about how your child's request for emancipation will affect your child support obligation. Our Pasadena family attorneys are eager to help in any way possible.