Emancipation and Termination of Child Support

Family Law Attorneys Representing Milwaukee Parents

When it comes to family disputes, involving the legal system may be stressful and complicated. During these difficult times, however, it is critical to ensure that your legal rights are protected at all times and to understand your options in a timely manner. With regard to some legal rights, you may need to take action within a certain timeframe or risk waiving your rights. At Reddin & Singer, our Milwaukee child support lawyers have the experience and dedication that it takes to navigate a family law issue and to pursue the outcome that you deserve. One of the issues that we handle involves the termination of child support and emancipation. A minor may seek emancipation in some situations, and if the court grants the minor’s request, it may have serious implications for existing support obligations related to the child’s care. If you are dealing with an issue that involves emancipation and child support, Reddin & Singer is here to guide you.

Understanding Child Support Obligations in Wisconsin

If a married couple is seeking a divorce or legal separation in court, and they have mutual children, one of the main issues to be resolved is whether either parent will be legally obligated to make child support payments, particularly if only one parent will retain custody of the children. During the court proceedings, each party will have an opportunity to present their case regarding whether they wish the court to order child support. The court will then render a decision indicating the amount of money that the non-custodial parent will be required to provide to the custodial parent.

In general, the child support order must take into consideration the non-custodial parent’s financial situation and ability to provide support. According to Wisconsin law, an individual’s income includes any source of earnings, regardless of whether it is derived from a salary or another taxable source. This includes investments, property, and interest on assets such as real property. Also, unemployment status will not preclude the court from requiring an individual to pay child support. In this instance, the court may refer to prior earning statements, the mental and physical capacity of the parent to obtain work, their education, available job openings, and the individual’s history of child care responsibilities. A knowledgeable family law attorney can help parents protect their rights and inform the court about any financial hardships that should be taken into consideration.

Emancipation Affects Child Support Obligations

In Wisconsin, a minor becomes a legal adult at the age of 18, or at the age of 19 and upon graduation from high school if the child is still in high school when they turn 18. The state allows minors to pursue adult status prior to reaching the age of 18 through an emancipation proceeding. This is a court process that allows the child to become an independent adult.

Wisconsin recognizes total and partial emancipations, and even if the court grants the emancipation, the parents may still retain some duties regarding the child. An emancipation order will also have critical implications for any standing support obligations. In most cases, a child support order will terminate when the child reaches the age of majority. If the child is granted emancipation, however, the child support obligation will typically terminate unless the parties agree otherwise. The support obligation may also terminate if the child marries or joins the armed forces, or in other limited circumstances that may require consideration by the court.

Consult a Diligent Child Support Lawyer in the Milwaukee Area

If you are trying to navigate a family law matter, including an issue involving the termination of child support upon the emancipation of a minor, the family law attorneys at Reddin & Singer are prepared to provide you with the personal attention and legal counsel that you deserve. Our Milwaukee lawyers also represent people in Port Washington, Racine, West Bend, Waukesha, and other areas of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, West Bend, and Waukesha Counties. We offer a free consultation to help you learn more about your legal rights and how we may be able to assist you. Call us now at 414-271-6400 or contact us online to set up your appointment.