When the romantic relationship that involves a child comes to an end, it is likely the court will make a ruling on custody arrangement as well as child support payment. Child support payment is meant to ensure the child’s financial needs (education, food, accommodation, clothing and others) are met.
When the court orders you to pay child support, it is important that you honor this directive because if you do not, you will face serious legal consequences. However, it is important to understand that child support payments generally do not go on forever. There are situations that may call for either party to petition for the termination of child support payments. Here are some of these situations:
Age of majority
A child support payment is designed to help with the provision of the minor’s day-to-day needs. Generally, minors do not have the means to (and should not) fend for themselves. However, upon reaching the age of majority, which is 18 in Connecticut, the child is legally recognized as an adult who can find work and provide for himself or herself. In this case, they may no longer be eligible for parental support.
Emancipation of the child
In rare circumstances, a minor may petition the court for emancipation if they no longer want to be under the parents’ stewardship. If the court grants their wishes, then they may lose their right to parental support. Some of the factors the court will look into before emancipating the child include:
- The child’s age — The legal age of emancipation varies from state to state. In Connecticut, a child is considered old enough to make their own decisions, and thus eligible for emancipation, at 16.
- The child’s level of maturity — The court will evaluate the child’s ability to clearly express their desire for emancipation, as well as their reasons for the petition before granting their wishes. It will also look at the child’s school performance and ability to earn income.
Every parent has a duty to provide for their child. However, it is important to understand that this obligation can be legally terminated. Find out the grounds upon which you can terminate your child support obligations.