A child support obligation is a major financial responsibility. When does that responsibility end? There are several ways that children can be emancipated for child support purposes, and the states of Kansas and Missouri differ in their approaches.
According to Kansas law, the age of majority is 18. Typically, when the child reaches the age of 18, a child support obligation ends, although child support payments will continue through high school graduation if certain basic high school requirements are met. Parents are not required to pay college expenses or child support for adult children in college, although some divorcing parents choose to contractually agree to provisions for such support.
Missouri also recognizes the age of majority as 18 years old. However, child support will extend until age 21 if the child is attending college and meets very specific criteria set forth in Missouri’s child support statute.
Missouri law states that a minor is emancipated when married, whereas Kansas does not have a similar provision in its child support statutes (likely because it is rare for a child to be married prior to graduating high school).
Other Notable Reasons
Depending on what state you live in, military service, the child’s disability, and other factors may affect a child support obligation. When a child is emancipated for child support purposes and there are younger children at home, it is not as simple as terminating child support, as the Court has to modify child support in order to recalculate the appropriate amount due for the remaining minor children.
Issues of emancipation and termination of child support can be complicated, and it is best to discuss the particular facts of your situation with a licensed attorney to discover your options.
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