Termination of child support only occurs in several limited situations including when a child becomes emancipated. When a child reaches the age of nineteen, the child is considered emancipated, which means that a parent no longer has the obligation to provide child support for the child. In some situations, a child is emancipated before the age of majority. Emancipation has a significant effect upon child support payments in the state of Alabama.
Reasons For Emancipation
There are a variety of situations in which a child can become free from the guardianship of an adult. Parents have the obligation to continue to support a child until the child reaches the age of majority or a specific event occurs. A child in the state of Alabama may become emancipated for several reasons including abandonment of the parental home, economic independence, marriage, and military service. In order to get emancipated in the state of Alabama, a child must meet several requirements which include being at least sixteen years old. If a child should become emancipated through any of these methods, the payment of child support will terminate.
Child Support Past Emancipation
In a few limited circumstances, parents are required to pay child support past the age of nineteen. Some of these situations include when a child has special needs or a child is still enrolled in high school and lives in the home of a parent past the age of majority. A child who becomes emancipated faces several requirements including the child cannot drink alcohol until the legal drinking age of twenty one, the child must continue to attend high school, and the child cannot get married unless the child obtains parental permission. Violation of any of these rights have the potential for the revocation of emancipation rights.
When Only One Child Is Emancipated
While child support is terminated when a child becomes emancipated, there is a special situation created when there are multiple children involved. A partial termination of support may occur after one child is emancipated as long as the remaining children continue to receive support in accordance with the state of Alabama's child support guidelines. In many cases, it might prove difficult to determine exactly how much a parent owes after one child becomes emancipated. Because failure to adequately adhere to child support guidelines can result in substantial fines and even penalties, parents often find it essential to retain the services of experienced legal counsel in these situations.
The Assistance of A Top Birmingham Family Law Attorney
If you are a parent or child who needs assistance with the emancipation process, the services of a talented family law attorney at Eversole Law LLC can prove invaluable.