Emancipation and Child Support Payments NJ
Family and DYFS Defense Attorneys in Jersey City, New Jersey
A new child support statute was signed into law and made effective on February 1, 2017, which changed the legal landscape for many parents in New Jersey. The new law, N.J.S.A. 2A:17-56.67, provides in pertinent part that child support shall terminate without a court order when a child reaches the age of 19.
Prior to the enactment of the new law, New Jersey did not have a specific age when child support would terminate. Rather, Family Courts would make terminations based upon a case-by-case basis. Judges would examine the facts and circumstances of each matter to determine whether the child had moved “beyond the sphere of parental influence.” Meaning, was the child an independent adult and no longer dependent on his or her parents. Family Court’s would consider factors such as whether the child was employed full-time, whether the child was attending school, whether the child was residing with his or her parents, whether the child was married, whether the child had special needs, and any other relevant factors. In addition, any parents who wished to have their child deemed emancipated in order to end child support, he or she needed to file a motion.
Nevertheless, the law has changed and for most parents, child support will end without the need to file a motion. Support will terminate under the following conditions:
1. When a child reaches the age of 19;
2. When a child marries;
3. When a child passes away;
4. When a child enters the military.
However, the statutory automatic termination can be superseded in a number ways. The parents can make an agreement for another age. For instance, in a divorce agreement, the parents can place in their settlement a specific age either before or after the age of 19. Also, a parent may file a motion asking the Court to extend the date of termination. Nevertheless, under both circumstances, child support shall not extend beyond the age of 23.
Further, the new law also allows a child, who is beyond the age of 23 to petition the Court for support in the form of financial maintenance or reimbursement.
DCP&P Family Lawyers in New Jersey
Accordingly, if you or a loved one have any family issues that need addressing. Please contact our offices now for immediate assistance at (908)-356-6900. The initial consultation is always provided free of charge.