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What is Emancipation?



Emancipation is a legal term that refers to the date in which a parent and child no longer have a dependent relationship.  In other words, parents no longer have the right to custody of the child, nor the duty to support the child, and the child no longer has the right to support from his or her parents.   As it relates to child support, a child’s emancipation date is the date from which parents no longer have a child support duty. 


Deciding whether a child is emancipated is an extremely fact-sensitive analysis in New Jersey.  The overarching analysis is whether the child has moved beyond the parents’ “sphere of influence” and responsibility, and has become their own independent person.  When making this determination, courts evaluate, among other things;

  • Child’s needs;
  • Child’s interests;
  • Child’s independent resources;
  • Family’s reasonable expectations; and
  • Parties’ financial ability.

Of course, parties can always define their own definition for emancipation in their Marital Separation Agreements (provided the best interests of the child are protected, and the age in which a child is emancipated does not extend beyond the age of 23). 


If you feel that your child might be emancipated, relieving you of your child support duty, you should contact an attorney who can help you decide whether you should file an emancipation motion with the court.  There were recent changes to the emancipation statute in New Jersey that went into effect February 1, 2017,  and it is important if you currently have, or will have, a child support obligation, that you understand these changes.   Speak with your attorney about these changes.


Contact Us Today

Contact attorney Jill Jedrusiak today to discuss your child support and emancipation case at (732) 719-2201 or


Phone: (732) 719-2202

Fax:    (732) 483-6888



1410 Hooper Ave., 2nd Floor

Toms River, New Jersey