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When do Parents Stop Paying Child Support in New Jersey?

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Matters of divorce are often complicated, especially when children are involved. This requires parents to determine arrangements for the future of their children as well. In the state of New Jersey, both parents of a child are required to financially support them. This is done through child support payments, which is compensation paid from one parent to another to balance out the child’s cost of living. Through this, the child is able to maintain a similar standard of living they were used to before the divorce. Continue reading below to learn more. 

How is Child Support Determined?

Child support is handled by the court by following the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines calculate the child’s expenses with the income of the family in order to determine a fair amount that is owed in support payments. Courts will consider a variety of outside factors as well to make sure the decision is truly fair. This can include the parents’ financial status, the needs of the child, each parents’ work history, the parents’ earning capacity, the cost of providing for the child, and more. Through this process, the judge is able to make a decision regarding what parents can afford to provide their child with a stable upbringing.

What is the Age of Emancipation?

When a parent has physical custody of their child, they are tasked with certain responsibilities that a non-custodial parent does not have. This can include providing the child with a home, clothes, food, an education, and more. These expenses can be difficult to manage alone, which is why the non-custodial parent makes child support payments to contribute. While this is true, these payments do not last forever. A parent can stop child support payments when their child reaches the age of emancipation. In New Jersey, this age is generally 19 years old.

However, the court understands that not all families are the same. There are many cases in which payments may need to end early or be extended. It is because of this that the court handles child support situations on a case by case basis. Depending on the circumstances, exceptions can be made to extend payments or terminate them early. Cases in which child support may be extended can include if the child wants to seek a higher education. When this happens, support may not finish until their education is done and the child can support themselves. On the other hand, if a parent believes their child is independent and can provide for themselves, they can file a motion to emancipate the child and end support payments early.

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