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How does a child’s emancipation affect child support?

Posted On July 1, 2020 In Child Support

After divorcing your spouse, you may find yourself paying child support for your minor children.

In some circumstances, they may even emancipate themselves, which would lead to an adjusted child support plan for future payments.

What emancipation is

According to the Clerk of the Superior Court, legal emancipation in Arizona consists of a minor 16 years of age or older legally becoming self-sufficient. This can be through a legal document, marriage, adoption, or death.

It also occurs without any paperwork when the minor turns 18, otherwise known as the age of majority. The only exception is if he or she is still attending high school or an equivalency program until 19 years of age.

Details of the process

Except in a few specific situations, you are not bound to pay child support for an emancipated minor. However, these payments do not automatically end on the child’s 18th birthday. Instead, you must file a legal process to officially end these payments once your son or daughter reaches the age of majority.

Child support modification can also occur if you cannot fulfill your required payments on time. If you pay support for multiple children, the amount will not automatically decrease if one child becomes emancipated.

Next steps

If you find that you are still paying for child support even after your son or daughter is legally emancipated, you should talk to the agency responsible for your payments. The first step to this process is filing an Income Withholding Order. Speaking with a Chandler child support attorney may also be prudent if your request is not honored.