Emancipation prior to age 21 may occur if the child marries, becomes self-supporting, enters the military or engages in a course of conduct that is inconsistent with the parent-child relationship. The burden of proof as to emancipation is on the person asserting it, and the father failed to satisfy his prima facie burden.
Under the doctrine of constructive emancipation, where a minor of employable age and in full possession of his or her faculties, voluntarily and without cause, abandons the parent’s home, against the will of the parent and for the purpose of avoiding parental control, the child forfeits his or her right to demand support. However, where it is the parent who causes a breakdown in communication with the child, or has made no serious effort to contact the child and exercise visitation rights, the child will not be deemed to have abandoned the parent.
For more questions, contact Andrew Tabashneck.