In Colorado, a parent’s child support obligation continues until the child reaches the age of emancipation, which is the age when a person legally shifts from child to adult. The age of majority or emancipation is currently 19 in the state of Colorado. In most cases, this is the moment when the parents are no longer financially obligated to provide child support.
Like most rules, the emancipation deadline for child support termination has some exceptions that would either extend or shorten the required payment period.
Extended Child Support Timeframe
There are certain circumstances in which the court may lengthen or extend the age during which the parents still have to provide child support for the child. One situation that would extend the child support obligation is if the child is still working toward his or her high school diploma when he or she turns 19. In that case, the child support obligation may be extended until the child graduates or until the child reaches 21. Another situation that could extend the child support obligation is when a child is mentally or physically handicapped. If the child is unable to support himself or herself because of a disability or handicap, the support obligation may continue for the duration of the disability or handicap. Finally, a child support obligation can also be extended if the parents mutually agree to extend child support as part of a parenting plan or separation agreement.
Abbreviated Child Support Timeframe
Under certain circumstances, the child support obligation may end before a child turns 19. This can happen if the child gets married or joins the armed forces. It can also happen if the child is supporting himself or herself financially and no longer lives with either parent.
Surprisingly, death of the parent with the child support obligation does not necessarily end the child support obligation for that parent. Courts can require parents to carry life insurance to cover their child support responsibilities until their child reaches the age of emancipation.