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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12235
Experience:  Attorney experienced in numerous areas of law.
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What is the legal age to end child support in the state of Colorado? We know the federal l

Resolved Question:

What is the legal age to end child support in the state of Colorado? We know the federal law states 18 years of age according to the 25th Ammendment to the constitution of the U.S. is adulthood so would that be the end of the child support in the state of Colorado? What is the age 19 mean legaly in the state of Colorado and does it mean anything as to the end of child support (Mother claims age 19)
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 1 year ago.

Brandon M. :

Hello there.

Customer:

Hello sir

Brandon M. :

Hello, thank you for your question.

Customer:

What do you think?

Brandon M. :

Well, the first thing that we need to do is separate the Federal Constitutional question from this equation. The 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution sets the voting age at 18, but that's actually not the same thing as a federal determination of an age of majority.

Brandon M. :

(Incidentally, the 25th Amendment pertains to Presidential succession).

Brandon M. :

So the states are free to determine adulthood according to their own individual laws. It's a state issue, not a federal one.

Brandon M. :

Interestingly, even then adulthood does not necessarily have to require that all forms of child support will end. Although there is a nexus between age and needing support, the two are mutually exclusive.

Customer:

Ok but this is about child support issue, what is the age that child support ends in the state of Colorado according to Colorado state laws?

Brandon M. :

To give you an example, in New York state, child support can terminate as late as age 21, though a child reaches the age of majority at age 18.

But going back to your original question, Child support in Colorado cannot be awarded past the child's 19th birthday. In other words, once the child turns 19, child support must thereafter discontinue (if it hasn't already).

Customer:

The court that ordered the child support did not state any age or any other circumstances beyond legal age that child support ends>

Brandon M. :

You can find it in Colorado Revised Statutes 14-10-115 (13). If a child support order is silent on the age of termination, it's age 19 in Colorado.

Brandon M. :

That code section reads, in part, that "For child support orders entered on or after July 1, 1997, unless a court finds that a child is otherwise emancipated, emancipation occurs and child support terminates without either party filing a motion when the last or only child attains nineteen years of age..."

Customer:

If the Judge was silent on the Age issue then why silence of the court overrides the legal age of 18 as stated by the constitution

Brandon M. :

As mentioned previously, the U.S. Constitution does not establish an age of emancipation. The U.S. Constitution establishes a voting age. Those are different things. You can be unemancipated and able to vote.

Brandon M. :

Under the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, it states that individuals will be eligible to vote no later than age 18. Nothing more.

Brandon M. :

It is therefore a state law issue. Under the laws of the state of Colorado, child support terminates no later than age 19.

Customer:

I'm not addressing the U.S. Constitution now, I am addressing adulthood age is 18 when the child is no longer a child, so a child in Colorado remains a child til the age of 19???

Customer:

The adult in question is now going to college on his own now, so therefore does it not pose the question of if he does fall under the age of 18 or 19 then?

Brandon M. :

Sorry if there was some confusion there (that's the challenge of this forum... you can reach an attorney on a Sunday evening, but it's certainly not as user-friendly as meeting face-to-face in a law office). The answer is "yes". In Colorado, a child is ordinarily a legal minor until the age of 19. There are a very small handful of states that set the age of majority at age 19 instead of 18, and Colorado is one of them.

Brandon M. :

If a minor child is 18 years old and self-sufficient, it can be appropriate to ask the court to terminate child support anyway based on the change in circumstances, but the court could hypothetically continue a support order until age 19.

Brandon M. :

Does that make sense?

Customer:

Yes

Brandon M. :

I'm not sure if this is good news or bad news for you (or neither), but I do hope that it helps you to better understand the law. Did you have any other question?

Customer:

Personally Colorado is an insane state when the rest of the world follows on the age of 18. and what does it take for an 18 year old to be defined as emancipated?

Brandon M. :

Well, it depends on whether it is the parent or the child seeking emancipation. May I safely assume that we are only talking about the parent seeking emancipation for purposes of child support?

Customer:

Yes

Brandon M. :

Basically, there is no statutory procedure for parental emancipation of a minor in Colorado, so it is a matter for discretion of the court. The court will consider a child emancipated for purposes of child support if it is in the child's best interests. What is in the child's best interests vary from one circumstance to another, but it is generally in the child's best interests if the child is living independent of the parents and either self-sufficient or capable of living independent of the parents and being self-sufficient.

Brandon M. :

If a child is enrolled in college full-time, the courts tend to interpret the "best interest" as continuing that full-time enrollment, so if the child would need to drop to part-time or less to achieve an income to be self-sufficient, there would just need to be an explanation for why the support should be reduced anyway.

Customer:

He is living at college with a scholarship given by the school, and the mother receives child support and Social Security to the amount of $1000 a month. The child that is now 18 years old does not see any of the money and the 18 year old in question has a job and lives in a dorm. The mother does not so the question remains.

Brandon M. :

So basically, he's living out of the home and working, and his finances would not be impacted whatsoever if child support was eliminated (although, the mother's finances would clearly be impacted)? I'm not in a position to estimate an outcome since I have only one half of one piece of a story in a case I have not handled, but those would ordinarily be serious factors of consideration for any given case.

Customer:

Would you recommend filing with the court in Colorado?

Brandon M. :

That's really a personal decision. Litigation is unpleasant and it can sometimes be better for a person's sanity to maintain the status quo even if they could go to court and "win". My recommendation is to do whatever is best for your child, and if your child will not be affected by the outcome, then do whatever is best for yourself.

Brandon M. :

Does that make sense?

Customer:

Yes, but the mother will be financialy impacted and she will lie to maintain that amount of money coming to her.

Customer:

Do you have an idea what I am trying to say

Customer:

I'm trying to give you as clear of a picture as I can.

Brandon M. :

I do, and the reality is that this situation wasn't created an a day, so they probably can't be solved in a day, but I do hope that the information here at least gives you an understanding of the law so you can determine how things have to proceed.

Customer:

Your answers have been right on the money and I thank you and you will be rated above most excellent for the information you have provided. Thank you very much sir.

Brandon M. :

That's wonderful to hear, thanks for that positive feedback. I genuinely wish that I could solve all problems, but if I can just give people good information so they know what to expect, that enough to make my job feel worthwhile. Thanks.

Customer:

So in a simple answer legally can we count on 19 being the age?

Brandon M. :

That much is certain. At age 19, support will always end.

Customer:

Thank you very much for you time and have a wonderful evening!

Customer:

your*

Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12235
Experience: Attorney experienced in numerous areas of law.
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