If a Virginia parent is required to pay child support, they are usually responsible for payments until their situation changes or the child becomes emancipated. A child usually becomes emancipated when they reach age of majority, which is 18 years of age in the state of Virginia.
Children may also become emancipated if they get married, join the military or gain financial independence prior to turning 18. Additionally, a child can seek emancipation by completely abandoning the parental home. If the child is still living with the parent or remains in their custody, they will not be emancipated before the age of majority. Furthermore, special needs children or children who have gone through a divorce but are still minors may still be entitled to child support.
When a child reaches age of majority or is otherwise emancipated, the parent cannot just stop paying child support. They must go to court and request that the child support payments be terminated. If the parent is seeking to terminate the child support but the child hasn’t reached the age of majority, they may need to be prepared to show the court that the child has been emancipated.
If a parent who was ordered to pay child support wishes to change the amount they owe due to a change in their financial situation, relocation for a new job or child emancipation, they will have to request a child support modification or termination. A family law attorney may help provide evidence to the court that shows that the parent’s financial situation has changed or that the child is no longer living with the custodial parent. This could lead to a reduction in child support or a termination altogether.