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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 116707
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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Missouri changed the age for emancipation from 22 to 21 after

Customer Question

Missouri changed the age for emancipation from 22 to 21 after my divorce. My son recently turned 21 but my decree says I am to pay child support until age 22 based on the old law. Does the age of 21 apply in my situation and can I discontinue paying child support?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

The MO statute changing the emancipation age does not specify it applies to cases after a certain date and thus it is likely to be interpreted by the MO courts to apply to all child support orders written in MO. Because the law does not specify any date for the emancipation age to be effective, it applies to all cases and as such it would apply to your case as well and if your ex sues you for non-payment, it is more likely than not the court will concur that based on the change in the law your support has ceased because of emancipation at 21 (the majority of the MO courts are finding this, but there is no MO Supreme Court ruling on this yet).

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I understand that we complete a request to terminate request which the exwife has 30 days to reply to. Can she insist on a full blown hearing/motion to modify or can the judge rule at the initial hearing in our favor? Just trying to weigh the cost as we have approx $400 in child support remaining. Our attorney will charge $500 to file and appear at initial hearing.


Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your response.

You are correct, you submit the motion to terminate, you cite the law in your motion and state that the law did not state any dates that it applied to and as such it applies to all support decisions. She has the right to file an objection on the motion at which time the judge will read the law and make a ruling based on the law, since this is not a matter where facts and evidence need to be presented, only the law. If you have $400 remaining, even if you file the motion yourself you will incur some costs and might end up saving maybe $100-$200 in the long run and that is an economic decision you have to make, since the law on this is on your side for terminating the support.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

sorry- the $400 was a typo- it is actually $4000 remaining.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for clarifying.

If you owe $4000 and spend $500 to get this properly terminated, then economically this is the best course of action for you to pursue here as the court will have to terminate in accordance with the law.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks very much

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you. Please do not forget to leave excellent service feedback as that is the only way the experts receive credit for working with customers.