Definition of Unemancipated Child
An unemancipated child is a child who is still under the care of their parents. This can include any child who is disabled, a child who is over the age of 18 but attending college, a child who is under the age of 18 and not married, a child who is not serving in the military and a child who has not been emancipated by the court and who is considered a minor.
An unemancipated child can expect for their parents to provide food, shelter and emotional and physical support for them until which time they become emancipated. Consider, a child under the age of majority is presumed unemancipated and in need of parental support (assuming they are not married or in the military). This means that if the parents divorce the child can expect child support payments from the noncustodial parent, even if the parents were never wed.
Children may seek to become emancipated prior to the age of majority, which is generally 18 in most states, by petitioning the court, or the court may consider emancipating the child if the child gets married, joins the military or becomes employed on a full-time basis. If you have questions about whether or not you must continue child support payments talk to a family lawyer. Some child support orders will specifically state that support can stop at a specific time while other child support orders do not.