Tampa, FL asked in Child Support and Family Law for Puerto Rico

Q: Do I have to keep paying child support if my 18 yo son joins the Coast Guard or any military branch?

I live in Florida and my son lives with his mother in PR. His mom gave him 2 options... (1) go to College and study whatever you want or (2) Join the Coast Guard. I know my obligations if he decides to go to college, but if he joins any branch of the military at 18 years of age, I can't understand how that is not a way of him emancipating himself and therefore eliminating my child support obligations. He would be living on his own, earning a living wage, and filing his own taxes, on top that the biggest expenses that he would have (i.e. housing) would be covered by the Coast Guard. I would appreciate any advise... Thank you

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1 Lawyer Answer
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
  • San Juan, PR
  • Licensed in Puerto Rico

A: Your message does not state whether child support was assigned by the Puerto Rico courts. In any event, even if and when your son reaches the legal age of 21, release from child support payments is not automatic: you would have to submit a Motion before the Court for relief from child support.

If your son signs up to serve in the armed or peacekeeping forces, once he's on his own, you can speak with your son's mother to grant an emancipation deed in Puerto Rico, which your son would also have to subscribe. In the alternative, your would need to go before the Puerto Rico Court, along with your son, and request that he be emancipated. The court would require your son's mother to also appear before making a judgement.

Until your son comes of legal age, the fourth and last way to emancipate him is if he gets married.

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