If the New Jersey family court ordered you to child support payments, you may be wondering when you will be released from this obligation. At the same time, you may wish for the early termination of this order after you experience unforeseen life events. Continue reading to learn at what age child support will end and how an experienced Bergen County child support attorney at McNerney & McAuliffe can guide you through this.
What age does child support end in the state of New Jersey?
Generally speaking, a support obligation ends once a child reaches the age of emancipation. In the state of New Jersey, the age of emancipation is 19. However, if you believe that your child has become financially independent before the age of 19, then you may file a motion to officially emancipate them, and therefore terminate your support obligation.
On the other hand, there may be instances in which you must continue your support obligation even after your child passes the age of emancipation. Examples of such instances are as follows:
- Your child has chosen to attend higher education and requires support through the age of 23.
- Your child has disabilities and requires support past the age of 19.
- The New Jersey family court grants an extension of support through the age of 23 due to unique circumstances.
What factors may warrant an early termination of child support?
To reiterate, your child becoming financially independent is grounds for the early termination of your support. However, other circumstances, such as you losing your job, may prompt a modification of your support order.
With this, you must formally file a petition with the New Jersey family court that explains the drastic change in your circumstances alongside relevant evidence. It is important that you continue to make your child support payments while the court is processing your request. Your owed payments will only continue to add up and you will have to pay them off eventually. For this, you may find it helpful to have your support payments deducted from your unemployment benefits or your workers’ compensation. Though, this should only be a temporary solution.
It is important to note that the court may not grant you a modification if you quit your job or if you were fired due to gross negligence or any kind of criminal activity. At the same time, a child support order is not solely based on your and your former spouse’s financial situation. This means that you are by no means entitled to be granted this modification.
For more information on how to modify or altogether terminate your child support order, you must not hesitate in speaking with a skilled Bergen County family law attorney. We await your phone call.