When Do Child Support Payments End in New Jersey?

A divorce requires the couple going through the process to settle arrangements for the new futures separate from one another. When they are parents, these matters also include child custody and support. In the state of New Jersey, courts require both parents to financially support their child after a divorce, regardless of what their custody arrangement is. This is done through child support payments that are made from one parent to another to be used for the child’s cost of living. This allows the child to maintain the same standard of life they did before their parents separated.

Child support payments are determined by a judge by following the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. This calculates the cost of living for the child with the income of the family. The guidelines also take several factors into consideration regarding the parents’ financial status. This can include their work history, earning capacity, the needs of the child, the cost of providing for the child, and more. With this system, a judge is able to reach a fair decision based on what parents can afford to provide their child.

Age of Emancipation

When a parent is given physical custody of their child, they are the child’s custodial parent. This means they are the parent with whom the child spends the majority of their time. This requires them to fulfill certain responsibilities that the non-custodial parent does not. As the custodial parent, the individual must provide the child with stability. This includes a home, food, clothing, an education, and more. These expenses often become difficult for one parent to handle on their own. This is why the responsibility of the non-custodial parent is to financially assist their child through support payments. Child support is required by the court to be paid until a child reaches the age of emancipation. In the state of New Jersey, a child is generally emancipated at the age of 19 years old.

While this is the usual age that a child is emancipated at, every family is different. Every support case is handled differently and tailored to the family as they need. Because of this, child support payments do not always end at 19 years old. Sometimes, a court will make an exception and extend support payments for a child. This is sometimes seen if a child wants to go to college or trade school. In these situations, support payments may not end until they complete their education. This requires parents to continue supporting their child until they can support themselves. Child support payments can also end early. If a parent believes their child is able to support themselves, they can petition the court to emancipate them. When a child is officially emancipated, child support payments can end.

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