Child Support Laws: Is A Child Emancipated If He Joins The Reserves?

divorce lawyer Kevin MammolaQuestion:

My question is about child support laws and the emancipation of a minor.

My son is going into the Military Reserves, and I would like to know if I have to continue paying child support or if his enrollment emancipates him?


I am not licensed in your state so I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, such as an overview of the factors that will influence the answer to your question.

The answer to your question will likely be controlled by either (1) the terms of the settlement agreement or court order that established your child support obligation, or (2) the manner in which your jurisdiction defines emancipation of minors.

First, carefully review the terms of any settlement agreement or court order that established the terms of your child support obligation.

If you and your ex-wife provided language in the agreement that contemplated your son joining the Reserves, and you agreed to pay child support even in such an event, it is possible that you could remain liable for child support while your son is in the Reserves up to a certain age.

In essence, the terms of the parties’ agreement will often control the manner in which a child support obligation terminates.

Likewise, the language in the court order that established your child support obligation should be carefully reviewed, as it may dictate the terms under which your child support obligation may terminate.

In the event that your settlement agreement and/or the court order does not provide language contemplating your child joining the Reserves, then the manner in which your jurisdiction defines “emancipation of a minor” will likely control whether or not you would remain obligated to pay child support.

Using my jurisdiction (Georgia) merely as an example, a minor child is considered automatically emancipated during the period when the minor child is on active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States.

Accordingly, whether or not the child is in the Reserves probably will not control the answer to your question; rather, the answer would depend upon whether the child is “on active duty.”

Of course, the law in your jurisdiction could vary from my jurisdiction. Therefore, it is important that you consult with a local attorney to determine whether or not your son would be considered “emancipated” under the law, thus terminating your child support obligation.

I have only provided you with general legal information. For a more in-depth answer and financial advice on divorce, you should contact a family law attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

Cordell & Cordell has men’s divorce lawyers located nationwide. To schedule an appointment with a divorce attorney, including Kevin Mammola, an Associate Attorney in the Atlanta, Georgia, office, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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