Legal Services

Emancipation and Termination
of Child Support


In New Mexico, generally the child support obligation continues until the child reaches the age of emancipation. Emancipation is the age at which an individual’s status in society changes from child to adult. The notion that parents should stop collecting child support when the child becomes an adult is rooted in the idea that adults should be required to achieve their own financial independence.


The next question is, “when does a child become emancipated”? Of course, the most common way that one becomes emancipated is by attaining the age of majority. The age of majority is currently 18 in New Mexico.


There are certain exceptions to termination of a child support obligation at the age of 18, however. First, if the parties have agreed otherwise in a written agreement for post-majority child support, then the terms of that agreement would apply. Sometimes a child reaches the age of majority while still in high school at which point child support would continue until 19 for graduation purposes. Finally, if the child is mentally or physically disabled, and that disability continues beyond the age of 18 depending upon the needs of child, the child support may be extended beyond the age of 18. Disability of a child can raise complicated issues impacting the child’s entitlement to various social services and government entitlements. Decisions regarding disabled children can be complicated and require the expertise of attorneys trained in this matter.



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Albuquerque, NM 87112
t: (505) 243-0900
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Email: channa@nmdivorce.com

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