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Unemancipated Child

Definition - What does Unemancipated Child mean?

An unemancipated child is a child that is considered, by law, to be under the financial care of their parents. The normal age for a child to become unemancipated is 18, but in most states, it is conditional on the child's ability to support themselves at that stage.

If a child reaches the age of 18 and is still attending school, they may be liable to remain unemancipated until they are 23 years of age, provided that the conditions do not change (i.e., they continue to go to school). This is an important differentiation in regard to child support, as a normal child support term ends when the child turns 18. It may be required by court order for a parent to continue paying child support if the child is still financially dependent on their parents.

Justipedia explains Unemancipated Child

In some cases, a child may be emancipated before the age of 18. If an older child, usually over the age of 15, is providing for themselves financially, then they may be eligible for emancipation. Alternatively, the age of emancipation can be extended to 23 in many states in the United States.

A child who is unemancipated is not responsible for providing for their financial upkeep; instead, it is the responsibility of the child's parents. This provision includes clothing, nourishment and entertainment, as well as any necessary school-related costs.

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