Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
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How a child's emancipation affects support obligations

In general, Georgia parents are expected to support their children until those children legally become adults. This means that in most cases, a non-custodial parent who pays child support will pay it until that time. However, there are situations in which a child may become legally emancipated before the age of 18, and if this happens, the parent may no longer owe support.

A child who joins the military or gets married may be considered emancipated. Children may also become emancipated by leaving their parent's home entirely or by becoming economically independent.

However, in some cases, a parent may still be required to pay support for an emancipated child. If a married child divorces while still a minor, support payments may resume. Furthermore, if a child has special needs, the parent might be required to continue paying support after the child becomes an adult. Neither the child's emancipation nor becoming an adult means that the obligation for a parent to pay child support stops automatically. A parent might need to make a request for the termination of payments.

Parents might also agree to take on other financial obligations for children who are older than 18. For example, one or both may agree to pay toward a child's college education. Some of these financial obligations might be outlined in the parenting agreement. For example, for minor children, one parent might agree to pay for certain extracurricular activities. A parenting agreement may address a number of other issues besides financial ones. Parents might include how and when they would like children to meet new partners or even rules about bedtime. Ideally, the parenting agreement includes guidelines that will help promote consistency as children move between their parents' homes while being flexible enough to permit changes as children get older and their needs change.

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Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
4799 Sugarloaf Pkwy
Building J
Lawrenceville, GA 30044

Phone: 770-676-1191
Fax: 770-963-2828
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