Parents Cannot Contract Away Child Support Obligations


A finding of emancipation terminates the parental obligation to pay child support. For this reason, the issue is oft litigated.

The typical divorce settlement agreement provides that child support will terminate on the happening of an “emancipation event” which is defined by parties’ settlement agreement, but generally includes the child’s death, marriage or entry into the military.

Many agreements also provide that a child should be deemed emancipated if the child enters the workforce on a full time employment. However, the Appellate Division, First Department ruled last week that a child’s full time employment alone does not constitute an emancipation event; the child must also be fully self supporting and economically independent.

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