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Child Support Termination in New Jersey

Morris County

Child Support Termination Attorneys

If you receive or pay child support in New Jersey, it’s only natural to have questions about the right time to terminate support—and what that process will look like.

While termination of child support can seem like a daunting and complex issue for many parents, the right legal support can guide you through your options and help you make the right decision for your family.

About New Jersey Child Support Termination Laws

Termination of child support is an issue that raises a lot of questions. Regardless of how child support is being paid, it makes sense that child support can and should terminate at a certain time. At some point, your child won’t need the type of financial support child support is intended to provide. 

However, child support termination isn’t just about your child growing up. As time passes and family needs evolve, family circumstances surrounding child support can also change to the point where child support isn’t required.

If you’re wondering if the time has come to stop child support, contact us. Our child support termination attorneys can help you understand your child support obligations so you can make the best decision for you and your family.

In New Jersey, there are a number of circumstances in which it may be appropriate to end support payments. Each family is different, and the decision to end child support payments will also depend on your unique circumstances.

Reasons to Stop Child Support

Unless your child support agreement or a court order states otherwise, all child support obligations in New Jersey are intended to terminate when the child reaches the age of 19. If support is paid through the Department of Human Services, this happens automatically. 

It can be common for child support agreements to last through college if a child plans to attend post-secondary education. With that said, the state mandates that all child support agreements should terminate by the age of 23.

Alternatively, if a younger child has become legally emancipated or financially independent prior to the agreed termination date, a supporting parent can file a motion to terminate their child support obligations.

Emancipation is contextual for each family. While only a court can determine if a child can be emancipated, several circumstances can automatically lead to emancipation:

  • The death of the child
  • Marriage of the child
  • Entry into the military by the child

Several other events may aso lead to emancipation, including:

  • Permanently moving out of their parent’s residence
  • Obtaining full-time employment
  • Having a child of their own
  • Graduating from college or secondary schooling

If your existing child support agreement has a defined end date, that date is legally binding.

Alongside emancipation, there are other circumstances that can potentially impact a child support order. If the circumstances of the payor or payee have dramatically changed, a child support modification may be available, and in some cases, that modification can end in child support termination.

How to Terminate Child Support in New Jersey

Even if your child support arrangement was fair and reasonable at the time, circumstances may change, and what once was a fair termination date can stop making sense for your family. But, because New Jersey considers child support to be the right of the child, and the obligation of the parents, even if you and your co-parent agree, there may be some legal hurdles to overcome in terminating support.

It can be challenging to navigate New Jersey’s complex legal waters. Working with a legal team of experienced, dedicated child support termination attorneys can provide parents with the clarity to chart the right path forward for their families.

The attorneys at Jacobs Berger, LLC have decades of combined experience helping parents navigate child support.

How Can I Terminate Child Support in NJ?

To end support payments, a parent must file a motion with the court to terminate child support. The outcome isn’t guaranteed and a court may recalculate child support guidelines, which could result in the adjustment or termination of financial support. 

The court will make its decision based on several factors, including:

  • Child emancipation
  • Child custody arrangements
  • Income and earning capacity of both parents
  • The number and ages of children
  • Special needs and other expenses
  • Other children, assets, and liabilities related to prior marriages or other personal factors

Because numerous factors play into these court decisions, working with an experienced child support termination attorney makes the process easier to understand. To determine the right path forward for you and your family, book a strategic planning session with our team today.

How Long Does It Take to Terminate Child Support?

Every agreement or court order regarding support is different, and the timeline for child support termination will vary depending on your unique circumstances.

Once the court determines an appropriate end date for financial support, parents will receive a notice from the state of New Jersey within six months of the termination date. For children in the system and turning 19, this is an automatic process.

A written notice will be sent to both parties 180 days and 90 days before the child support is to be terminated. These notices will provide parents with the ability to formally challenge the date of termination until the child is 23 years of age.

New Jersey Child Support Termination FAQs

All child support obligations in New Jersey automatically end when the supported child reaches the age of 19, unless otherwise stated within a Court’s Order or the agreement between the parties governing child support. The date of child support termination may also be altered through a request for continuation of support on the basis of the child attending college or requiring additional support. 

It’s also worth noting that no parent or child can request or receive child support once the child reaches the age of 23 unless exigent circumstances apply, including continued financial support in the event of disability of a child.

Precedence-setting cases have established that financial support for education is mandatory, and this includes higher education or post-secondary education. 

Whether college is in the distant future or rapidly approaching for your child, it’s important to plan for the future now. At Jacobs Berger, our child support attorneys can help you create a realistic and fair plan that reflects the financial needs of both parents while supporting your child.

With that in mind, things change. If a child becomes emancipated or a parent’s circumstances dramatically change, it may be appropriate to reexamine the existing financial support agreement.

It’s important to keep in mind that the termination of child support doesn’t excuse outstanding payments or accounts in arrears. Previous child support agreements will be enforceable until all outstanding payments have been made.

Have Questions? Contact a Morris County Child Support Termination Lawyer

At Jacobs Berger, our child support termination attorneys understand that child support laws in New Jersey can be complex and difficult to navigate.

Our firm approaches all family law matters with the aim of de-stressing the process for our clients. We work with our clients collaboratively to help them find financial solutions that meet their unique needs and the needs of their families.

Contact our office today for a confidential and comprehensive strategic planning session regarding your existing child support agreement, your current circumstances, and the potential to have your payments either terminated or modified.