Many people assume that eighteen years old is the age in which children are emancipated. However, in Colorado, children are emancipated at the age of nineteen. Therefore, parents have a child support obligation until each child reaches the age of nineteen. Normally the parenting plan stays in place until each child reaches the age of eighteen or has graduated from high school. In addition, some parenting plans include agreements that encompass post-secondary schooling. The Court does not have jurisdiction to force the parties to make agreements for the child past this age, but the parents may mutually agree to include agreements past the children's age of majority.
That being said, there are several ways for a child to be emancipated prior to reaching the age of nineteen.
A child can become emancipated if he or she:
1. Joins the military;
2. Gets married;
3. Lives on his/her own and is self-supporting;
4. By conduct, though you must still prove that the child is self-supporting; or
5. By Order of the Court.
Parents may make agreements to continue to provide financially support, tuition and/or provide medial insurance for their child(ren) past the age of nineteen. If such agreements are originally made, then the Court can enforce them. But, the Court cannot force parents to make agreements to support their child(ren) past the age of nineteen unless the child(ren) are mental or physically disabled, or the child(ren) have not graduated from high school.