Ask A Lawyer: What Do I Need To Do For An Emancipation?



Are there papers that you must fill out at the time of a child’s emancipation?  Otherwise, what is the procedure?


Assuming you are referring to emancipation due to attaining the legal age of majority (e.g. 18), other than perhaps a birthday card, there are no additional procedures to confirm emancipation unless there is a need to submit paperwork to an employer or other payor to stop child support withholding.  If child support is being withheld from income, the withholding notice or order should have included a termination date such as the 18th birthday of the child.  If a termination date was not set forth in the child support notice or order to the employer or other payor, you may need to obtain a court order or notice confirming the termination date in order for the employer or other payor to stop the withholding.  Emancipation prior to the legal age of majority may also be the result of the marriage or self-sufficiency of the minor, both of which may involve court approval providing the necessary paperwork.   If your state provides for non-minor support for education to be paid by the parents, you may have to pursue post-emancipation proceedings to address the contributions of each parent and the child towards college or vocational school.  If there is an issue that the child is physically or mentally disabled, then proceedings to obtain a guardianship or non-minor support may be necessary.  You would need to review these issues with an experienced domestic litigation attorney licensed in your state.      



Richard Coffee is a Litigation Manager in the Belleville Illinois office of Cordell & Cordell. He is an experienced divorce attorney whose practice is devoted to domestic litigation. He is licensed in the State of Illinois and is admitted to practice law in the U.S. District Courts for Northern, Central and Southern Illinois.

Mr. Coffee has extensive domestic litigation trial experience representing clients in courts throughout Illinois on all aspects of domestic litigation, including the representation of clients who are current or retired military personnel with issues under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act and the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, clients involved in state court jurisdictional disputes due to the relocation of one or both parties from or to Illinois, and clients with government or private pension benefit valuation and division issues. 

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9 comments on “Ask A Lawyer: What Do I Need To Do For An Emancipation?

    My son was ten when I found out he was mine and started paying child support .his grandmother had custody .well through the time I was paying she ask me to start paying her instead of sending it in.and like a dummy I did .so of course now there is some that is unaccounted for and about 6 years ago when I filed my income taxes the kept my return to put toward my arrears ! And I got a statement saying I still owed like 2500 $ but yesterday I got a paper in the mail saying they was gona garnish my wages from a company that I only been working for three days and that I owed over 50,000 dollars .now mind you he was 10 when they started child support on me and I was paying 225 a month ! And payed for along time .and when they kept my taxes 6 years ago it said I owed 2500 ! Now where is 50000 coming from .it don’t add up to that if I never paid a dime .his grandma had a book with every payment she received in it .but she is deceased now and my son is 28 years old .

    And also my son was in a lot of trouble while his grandma had custody and got kicked out of school and even was sent off .so the time he was locked up the child support should be stopped right !

    My question is in regards to not knowing a child is yours and have never been told. A friend if mine had I guess you can say a one night stand with a lady. They never saw each other after that. Sixteen years later this woman’s family came forth and said there sister had a baby by him and he needed to take her. The mother had passed away. A family member if his took the child in because she was going into foster care. The family member believed what the lady’s family told them and they believe the child is his. The only problem is the family member will not allow him to take her and have a blood test done. The family member is receiving a check each month for her. The child in question is now 18 years old. If he finds out that the child is his does he have to go back and pay all that child support ?

    My son will be 18 in February. I was told that my child support continues to go to his mother even if he moves out until he turns 19. He wants to be emancipated, what paperwork do I fill out and what does he have to fill out as well. Our court is in Colorado. If I pay support to my ex my son will never get the money. She has not saved a penny of the support for my son in the last 3 years. I don’t know why they call it child support if the child never gets it. My ex works full time and makes more than I do.

    I filed to stop paying support on my emancip ated daughter( She’s 18, graduated, on her own with full time job) , 3 weeks ago and haven’t heard anything. How long does it take?

    I have a court order for termination in Illinois. The child support is withheld from each check and sent to a 3rd party. I tried to go through my companies Payroll dept but was told I would have to contact the 3rd party. I have been unable to find a contact number for the 3rd party to submit the order or termination. Can anyone help guide me with this?

    I am a child in the custody agreement between my parents out of the state of Nebraska, I live in Iowa with my mother, she states that I cannot move out or marry until I am 19, but since I am 18, and an Iowa resident, shouldn’t I be able to move out after I graduate High School? Or do I have to abide by Nebraska’s laws and wait until I am 19?

    We are in Minnesota the child is 19 years old and does have some special needs qualifying him for guardianship. He is not in school any longer as he graduated. Custodial parent is filing for full guardianship. Could that mean future fees for the noncustodial dad -parent for him? child-support has ended year ago.

    Emancipation – where and what exactly do you need for paperwork and proof
    what paperwork do you need when you go to emancipate a minor at the age of 16 and do you need proof of any information of the roof and of the living and cost such as a billed(paid full)what if some of the reasons are verbal/physical abuse,mental stress, depression, ect is some of the cause. would that be acceptable?

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