Hubbard v. Ratliff (Mississippi 2018)

No. 2017-CA-00771-COA (Miss. Ct. App. 2018)
December 2018

A child who enters the military is considered emancipated and child support stops. In this case, the mother filed a contempt action that alleged the father failed to pay support and to comply with other provisions of the divorce decree. The father counter-petitioned and asserted that the child had emancipated in the spring of 2016. At the time of filing, the child was 18 and ready to graduate from high school. In November 2016, she entered the military. In the order, the chancery court found that the child emancipated as of August 2016 and entered a judgment against the mother for the support collected after the emancipation date. The mother appealed. The appellate court found that the Court didn’t have sufficient evidence to stop support in August 2016, but that pursuant to statute, support stopped when the child entered the military in November 2016. The appellate court found no fault with granting the father credit for the payments made after the emancipation date, reasoning that mother knew support should stop, yet she continued to collect. The appellate court refigured the judgment amount based on the new emancipation date.