There are some situations in which parents may be relieved of the duty of paying child support. They are few and far between, but they are often because the custodial parent refused or interfered with visitation with the noncustodial parent on a continuous basis.
If you would like to seek relief from paying child support because the other party will not let you see your child or your child unreasonably refuses to see you, make sure you do not stop paying without permission. If you stop paying child support without the court approving your wish to do so, you could end up owing back child support. That comes with fees and interest, which adds salt to the wound.
What is constructive emancipation, and is it a reason to be relieved of your child support obligation?
Constructive emancipation is an important term to understand if you are seeking to relieve yourself of the duty of child support. A child of employable age who abandons the noncustodial parent by refusing contact and visitation may be considered emancipated from the parent. By refusing to have a relationship with the parent, the child has abandoned the parent and forfeited the right to support.
To win a case based on constructive emancipation, you will need to show that the child wants nothing to do with you and will not contact you in any way. You must also show that you have tried to establish a relationship with your child but that your child is at fault for not having an active relationship.
Typical emancipation is also a reason for relieving a parent of child support duties. This usually means that the child has reached age 21 or has become economically independent. The two types of emancipation are different, but they both work to help relieve the parent of child support duties.
What should you do if you believe your child has emancipated themselves?
If you believe that your child qualifies as constructively emancipated, you should speak with your attorney about your options. When children are alienated or do not want to see their parents, it is typically fair for the parent to stop paying support.
Refusing to have a relationship with a parent who has good intentions should not be rewarded by receiving further support. The right information and documentation can help you relieve yourself of the duty of continuing to support your child.