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When Can I Stop Paying Child Support?



Many people wonder when their obligation to pay child support will end.  In New Jersey, the rules surrounding this question are a bit complex and often case-specific.  


In accordance with N.J.S.A. 2A:17-56.67 et seq., as of February 1, 2017, a parent's obligation to pay child support terminates by operation of law (automatically), unless the court orders otherwise, when the child being supported:

(1) Dies;

(2) Marries;

(3) Enters the military service; or

(4) Reaches 19 years of age.


However, child support can be extended beyond the age of 19, up to the age of 23, if the supported child is:

1) still in high school;

2) attending college or other post-secondary education program full-time;

3) disabled (physically or mentally); or

if continued support is specified in an agreement or court order.   


In these circumstances, in order for child support to continue beyond the date when the child reaches age 19, the custodial parent has to submit a written request asking for the the continuation of child support and include supporting documentation, as well as the anticipated date when support will stop.  A custodial parent may also file a motion with the court seeking the continuation of child support beyond the date the child reaches 19 years due to exceptional circumstances as approved by the court.


Keep in mind, this statute also says that a child who is 23 or older, although not entitled to receive child support, may be able to receive other forms of "financial maintenance" from a parent.  So a parent could potentially find themselves supporting a child over the age of 23.


If you believe that your child support obligation should end, you have to file a motion with the court to have the child emancipated.  Emancipation is the legal act where a child is released from the control and support of a parent.


This page is for general information purposes only.  For additional information regarding emancipation, the termination of child support and to discuss your particular circumstances, you should speak with an attorney.   At The Law Office of Jill Jedrusiak, LLC, Ms. Jedrusiak would be happy to meet with you and discuss your situation.  Contact us today for a free consultation regarding your child support issue.



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Fax:    (732) 483-6888



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Toms River, New Jersey