When Does the Obligation End?
Child support marks the financial obligation parents have to provide for their children financially. That obligation, however, doesn’t last forever. Laws on when the child support obligation automatically terminates have varied, but a new law in New Jersey dictates 19 as the age when a parent’s child support obligation will automatically terminate.
A Buffer Year
Many parents assume that once a child turns 18, they no longer have to support him or her. While indeed your child is an adult at age 18, many children still need financial support as they complete high school, attend vocational school, go to college, or undertake some other form of preparation for independent adult life. Because it is so important children be given a chance to graduate high school and take the next step in their life with the support of their parents, the financial obligation of child support is extended until that child reaches 19.
Child Support Obligation Termination
Child support will automatically terminate when a child turns 19 but can be extended up until age 23 under certain circumstances. For example, a parent may petition the court to extend child support past age 19 if the child is still in high school, in college or vocational school full-time, or has a disability. The court can extend child support until age 23 for other reasons, and the parents can also agree to continue child support until that age as well.
The non-custodial parent paying child support will no longer be obligated to pay support once the child turns 19 but will still be held accountable for past due child support (i.e., arrears.) If the custodial parent does not wish to extend child support past age 19, he or she does not need to do anything to terminate the obligation. If that parent wishes to continue child support, however, he or she will need to petition to have the obligation extended and bears the burden of presenting a compelling argument for that request.
If you have questions about extending a New Jersey child support obligation, speak with a knowledgeable child custody attorney in your area. An experienced child custody attorney can help you get a custody order and child support order that is in both your and your child’s best interests.
Do you need help with child support? The knowledgeable attorneys at the Williams Law Group, LLC can help you obtain a child support order that is in your child’s best interests while protecting your rights. Located in Short Hills, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at [email protected], or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.