What Age Does Child Support End in NJ?
Child support is a crucial aspect of divorce or separation cases involving children. It ensures that parents fulfill their financial obligations towards their children’s upbringing. However, many parents are often unsure about the specific details concerning child support, such as when it ends. In New Jersey, child support obligations typically cease when the child reaches the age of emancipation. Let’s delve into the specifics surrounding the end of child support in NJ.
Age of Emancipation in NJ:
According to New Jersey law, the age of emancipation is generally 19 years. However, there are certain circumstances where child support may continue beyond this age, such as if the child has special needs or is attending college. In such cases, child support may extend until the child turns 23 or completes their education, whichever comes first.
FAQs about Child Support in NJ:
1. Can child support end before the age of emancipation?
Yes, child support can end before the age of emancipation if the child becomes self-supporting, gets married, or joins the military.
2. Do parents have to go to court to terminate child support?
If the child support order was issued by the court, then a motion to terminate child support must be filed and approved by a judge. If child support was agreed upon through an out-of-court agreement, parents can make necessary arrangements without court involvement.
3. Can child support be modified after it has been ordered?
Yes, child support can be modified if there is a significant change in circumstances, such as a change in income or financial needs of the child.
4. Can child support be paid directly to the child after they turn 18?
No, child support must be paid to the parent or legal guardian until the child reaches the age of emancipation.
5. What happens if a parent stops paying child support after the child turns 18?
If a parent fails to fulfill their child support obligations, legal action can be taken. The parent may be held in contempt of court, resulting in penalties, wage garnishment, or even imprisonment.
6. Can child support be extended if the child has special needs?
Yes, child support can be extended if the child has physical or mental disabilities that require ongoing support.
7. Are parents still responsible for college expenses after child support ends?
Parents in NJ are not legally obligated to pay for their child’s college expenses. However, if both parents agree to contribute or if it was addressed in the divorce settlement, they may be required to do so.
8. Can child support be terminated if the child drops out of college?
If child support was ordered to continue until the child completes their education, it may be terminated if the child drops out of college or fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress.
9. Can child support be retroactively modified?
Child support modifications can only be applied from the date the motion to modify was filed. Retroactive modification is generally not allowed, so it is essential to file for modification as soon as possible when circumstances change.
Understanding the age at which child support ends in NJ is crucial for both parents involved. It ensures that financial responsibilities are fulfilled while also providing clarity and stability for the child’s future. If you have any further questions or concerns about child support in NJ, it is advisable to consult with an experienced family law attorney.