Child Support and Emancipation

Over 10 year ago, I received my Divorce, along with the court decreed child support, in Raleigh, North Carolina, but now I reside in the state of Colorado. The question I have involves North Carolina law on emancipation as it relates to child support.

Child support is available under North Carolina law during a child’s minority (until age 18). If a child is otherwise emancipated prior to age 18, child support would end at that earlier age under our current law. There are, however, also two situations in which child support can run past the age of majority. One such situation is that of a child who has not yet, as of age 18, graduated from high school. Provided the child is enrolled in secondary school, child support will continue until age 20 or graduation from school, whichever comes first. The second situation is a parent’s written agreement to pay support past the age of the child’s minority.

Based upon this legal definition, with my son’s emancipation coming this June, do I need to receive a new court order specifying an adjusted Child Support amount for one child (my daughter will be emancipated next year at the same time) that cancels the existing Child Support court order with the specified amount for two children, who were not emancipated at the time the document went into effect? If so, how do I go about obtaining this new legal document through the Wake County Courts, from whom I received the current Child Support legal document, from Colorado. If I do not need to proceed this direction, what is the best course of action in modifying the amount post emancipation. Thanks

You should file a motion to modify child support, and list as your reason to modify that one child is aging out so that the figure can be reduced to only provide child support for one child. At the time of the hearing, you can also address that your daughter’s support should terminate the following year due to age and graduation from secondary school. The court may be willing to put a specific end date in the new court order so it is clear when your obligation should terminate.