If you have been paying child support for years, you may be wondering when you can expect these payments to stop. Or perhaps you have just started paying child support, and you’d like to plan for the future with more accuracy. Whatever the case may be, there is nothing wrong with asking when your child support payments will stop.
Do You Have a Court Order?
The first thing you should ask yourself is whether there is a court order that specifically states when child support payments will stop. If this is the case, you can simply refer to the wording of that court order to discover when your child support payments will cease. If there is no court order that specifies an end date for your support payments, child support may terminate automatically when the child turns 19.
Some court orders specify that child support payments will continue well after the age of 19, although this age can never exceed 23. So, no matter what happens, child support payments always stop when the child reaches the age of 23.
Custodial Parents Can Request Continued Child Support
In addition, a custodial parent can request that child support payments continue past the age of 19. Note that they are only allowed to submit these requests to the court before the child turns 19. In addition, there are a number of additional requirements if the custodial parent wishes to request the extension of child support. Here are some examples of when these kinds of extensions are acceptable:
- The child is still enrolled in high school despite being 19 or older
- The child is in college
- The child has a mental disability
In New Jersey, a child is considered to be legally emancipated when they turn 19. This means that they have become an adult, and they are expected to “fend for themselves.” When a child becomes emancipated, you are no longer expected to continue with your child support payments. With that being said, there are a number of ways in which a child may become emancipated, and this may occur before they turn 19. Here are some examples:
- Joining the military
- Getting married
- Seeking emancipation as a minor
Seeking emancipation as a minor is not always easy, and there generally needs to be strong evidence that this is the best course of action for the child. For example, the child may be suffering from abuse at home. A judge also needs to see that a child has the necessary financial stability to leave their parents and function as an adult.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have been searching the New Jersey area for a qualified, experienced family law attorney, look no further than Giro, LLP, Attorneys at Law. We have considerable experience with matters related to divorce and child custody, and we can help you resolve issues such as these. Sometimes, your child support payments can stop sooner than you realize. Book your consultation today.