19 is the age of emancipation in Colorado. That means that child support obligations are generally in effect through the age of 18, until the child’s 19th birthday.
Here’s a closer look at what emancipation legally means and how it matters in family court cases in Colorado.
What Is Emancipation?
Emancipation describes the legal age of adulthood in the context of family courts. It’s the age at which an individual is no longer considered to be a child and, instead, is seen as an adult in the eyes of the law. Emancipation impacts the end date of child support obligations because there is a general belief the adult (former child) should now be able to financially support himself or herself.
Although many child support orders in Colorado will come to an end when the child turns 19, there are exceptions that could result in support payments lasting longer or being cut off before the age of 19.
When Would Early Emancipation in Colorado End Child Support?
There are some specific circumstances under which an individual under the age of 19 could be emancipated early, ending child support payments in Colorado. This could occur when an individual younger than 19:
- Lives alone or is financially independent
- Had obtained a court order of emancipation
As with many issues of family law, there are grey areas—like when a child may live away from home but still is not truly self-supporting. As a result, the details of a given situation are critical to review and are generally poured over by the courts. Additionally, there is usually a need to prove claims of early emancipation, like by bringing copies of marriage certificates or paystubs to court to prove a child is supporting himself or herself.
When Does Colorado Child Support Extend Beyond Emancipation?
Just as there are exceptions to ending child support before the age of 19, there are exceptions that can extend it beyond the age of emancipation. Specifically, child support can continue beyond 19 years old when:
- A child has special needs or disabilities.
- A child is still working towards earning a high school diploma.
- Parents agree to extend the terms of child support beyond the age of 19.
Find Out More About Emancipation, Child Support & Other Family Law Matters
A Colorado family attorney at The Cossitt Law Firm, LLC is ready to listen and answer your questions. The truth is that any family law case can be stressful and heated—and a lot can be on the line when it comes to matters of divorce, child support, emancipation, and more.
When it’s time to protect your rights and fight for what matters most in family court, it’s time to contact The Cossitt Law Firm, LLC. We have the experience, dedication, and skills to help you navigate any family law issue, guiding you and providing superior counsel at every step.
Call (970) 488-1887 or email our firm for a free, 100% confidential consultation. Phone and Skype consultations are available.
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