Emancipation Age for Child Support (19 not 18)

The age of legal emancipation in Colorado is 18. However, for purposes of child support, a child is emancipated at age 19. However, there are many reasons that could cause a child not to emancipate at the age of 19. The reasons include:

  1. When the parents agree that the child is not emancipated for purposes of child support;
  2. When the child is mentally or physically disabled;
  3. Under some circumstances, when the child has not yet graduated from high school; and,
  4. Under other unique circumstances.

In contrast, there are reasons that can cause a child to emancipate before age 19:

  1. The child enters military service;
  2. The child marries; and,
  3. The court orders that the child is emancipated.

Parents can agree by contract (or by choice) to support their children after they reach the age of 19. Many parents negotiate to ensure payment of the child’s post-secondary education such as undergraduate schooling. Although a court cannot issue an order mandating such payments, the parties can agree to these sorts of payments by contract.

If your 19-year-old is at college, most parents will treat parenting time as being 50/50 for purposes of inputting information into the child support worksheet.