How long does child support last?

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Specializing in Complex Divorce & Child Custody Law

 

How long does child support last?

Child support is financial support for the benefit of dependant children. Once a child is no longer financially dependant on the parents, there is no further need for child support.

The legal term for the end of a child’s financial dependance, and therefore the end of a child support obligation, is "emancipation." Emancipation in Massachusetts occurs under any of the following situations:

The child turns 18, does not live primarily with one of the parents, is sell-supporting, and is not enrolled in secondary education.
The child turns 21 and is not enrolled in secondary education.
The child turns 23.
The child does not live primarily with one of the parents.
The child is self-supporting.
The child is married.
The child is deceased.
It is important to note that emancipation is a reversible condition and a child can become unemancipated after emancipation under certain situations. For example, if a child turns 21 and is not enrolled in secondary education, he is emancipated. However, if he enrolls in secondary education a year later at the age of 22, he will be unemancipated (dependent) until he turns 23.

The issue of emancipation, especially after the age of 18, can be very technical. It is important to make your best arguments for why your child should or should not be legally emancipated. Contact us today to learn how we can help.

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