Emancipation of children during a family law case

In family law cases, the parents’ financial obligations to their children end on their emancipation (becoming independent). As noted above, this is not the same thing as becoming an adult on attaining the age of 18. By statute, Massachusetts differentiates between (1) children who are under 18, (2) those who are between 18 and 21, and (3) those who are between 21 and 23. There is no question that children in the first group will be considered dependent and entitled to financial support from their parents. Children (young adults, legally) in the second group will be considered dependent if they are actually dependent on their parents for support, evidenced by such things as living with a parent because they are unable to support themselves financially. After attaining the age of 21, however, this dependence must be related to the pursuit of an education for children in the third group to be entitled to continued financial support from their parents.