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Emancipated Minors and NY Child Support

Posted on February 4, 2020

Emancipation of a minor child can be obtained by court order if and when a child becomes financially self-sufficient, no longer lives with his or her parents, and/or is no longer under parental guidance or control. There are many reasons a minor may seek legal emancipation, including the following:

  • Making a considerable income and wanting to protect his or her independently earned finances
  • Wishing to enter into a contract or lease individually
  • Seeking to file a lawsuit individually
  • Controlling his or her own medical care and decisions
  • Choosing where to go to school

Many parents and children considering their options have questions about their rights and responsibilities in the event of emancipation.

Parental responsibilities and emancipation laws in New York

In general, New York parents are required by law to support minor children financially until their children turn 21 years old. Furthermore, only when a child turns 21 or becomes legally emancipated does the responsibility to support them end.

According to state law, a child can become emancipated if they meet any of the following:

  • They entered into marriage
  • They join the military
  • They obtain full-time employment (not including summer or vacation jobs) and are at least 18 years old
  • They have completed four years of college
  • They permanently flee home and sever contact with their parents (unless they left home to escape abuse or for a similar reason)

Emancipation and child support arrangements

Emancipation of a minor does not automatically eliminate or cancel the terms of an official child support arrangement agreed between parents (or determined in court) unless all support ends at a specific age regardless of the child’s circumstances. This means that if you pay your ex monthly (or regular) child support payments and your child becomes emancipated, that obligation continues unless and until you obtain termination of the support pursuant to the agreement.

Learn more about your rights and obligations regarding child support from a knowledgeable NY attorney

For more than 30 years, we at the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C., have helped New York City parents and families in all types of legal family matters. If you need help understanding, modifying, or terminating your support obligation after your child becomes emancipated, call our New York City child support lawyer today at 212-349-1600 or contact our law firm online to schedule a consultation.

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