What To Do When Only One Child Becomes Emancipated

Albany divorce lawyer Asa NeffQuestion:

My divorce agreement does not mention what happens to my child support payment when my oldest child becomes emancipated and I am still responsible for paying child support for my youngest.

I don’t know by how much the child support payments will be reduced. Is there a standard calculation that would apply when only one child is emancipated but there are still other minor children to pay for?


I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on New York child support laws where I am licensed to practice.

Your question addresses a rather typical problem of what to do when one child becomes emancipated.

First, emancipation can occur with the happening of several events, the most common of which is reaching the age of 18 or 21, depending on your state’s child support laws.

Child Support Laws:

Age of Emancipation In Your State

Assuming your oldest is going to be emancipated, you would then be able to apply to the court for a modification of support.

The tricky thing here is that your support amount may not necessarily go down if you do seek a modification, in fact, it could go up.

For instance, where I practice, the support calculation for two children is 25% of your income and for one child it is 17%.

However, as you might expect, the calculation will be based on what you earn now and not your income at the time the support was originally calculated.

Therefore, if your support amount was calculated several years ago and you currently make more money than you did previously, then you have to calculate 17% of your current income (gross income minus FICA [7.65%]) and determine if that is less than your current child support support obligation. Remember, those percentages are based on my state’s child support laws and vary by state.

The bottom line here is that if your salary has increased since your support amount was first calculated, and you have not had your support payment modified to reflect that increase, then you may not actually receive a decrease in your support obligation even though your percentage is reduced based on the number of minor children.

If you do not make more money, or your support amount has gone up as your salary has increased, then it likely would be worth seeking a modification.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with divorce lawyers for men in your jurisdiction.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including New York Divorce Lawyer Asa Neff, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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