How Long Will Child Support Payments Last?
This is perhaps the most common question a family law attorney gets; how long do child support payments last? Unfortunately, New Jersey law does not provide a simple answer. There is no set date or age on which child support payments will end. Instead, New Jersey requires parents to continue to support a child's needs until they become emancipated.
Emancipation requires a child to be 18 years of age and either:
- Graduation from a undergraduate degree program or equivalent
- Graduation from high school or withdrawal from high school
- Full-time employment
- Attainment of self-sufficiency
When these conditions have been met, the parties that pay child support will typically file a motion for emancipation. This motion must be supported by evidence. The other side will then have the opportunity to respond to the motion. On the date of the hearing the Court will entertain both sides arguments and will render a decision.
It is important to note that just because the above conditions have been met, emancipation is not automatic. Emancipation is very fact-sensitive. The crucial determination to be made is whether the child has moved beyond the parents' sphere of influence. Making this determination involves an evaluation of the relevant circumstances including the child's resources, needs, interests, the parents' financial ability and the family expectations for the child. This is where quality representation is vital. Many people have gone to court alone only to have their motion repeatedly denied. Call us anytime for more information on how we can help you end your child support matter forever.
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