Child support is an essential part of the upbringing of many children post-divorce. It is a tool to help ensure that both parents meet the needs of their kids, helping them thrive and succeed. Child support is a complicated legal process, which may be difficult to understand. Fortunately, the experienced team at the Law Offices of James C. DeZao is here to help. So, how long does child support last?
Child Support Guidelines in New Jersey
The State of New Jersey holds that children should not be held to suffer economically as a result of the divorce of their parents or being born out of wedlock. As such, the state recognizes that the child or children of divorce are legally entitled to share in the income of both parents, regardless of their living situation.
Under New Jersey law, a parent must pay child support until the child reaches the age of 18 and is not in school. Additionally, child support payments end in the event of the emancipation of the child.
If the divorcing parents do not agree upon the financing of the college expenses of their children during divorce proceedings, the court may decide the issue for them. While there is no set rule, in the State of New Jersey there is a strong preference for the parents to pay for the costs associated with college, should they financially be able to handle them.
There are many issues the court will take into account when determining the liability of the child support paying parent for college expenses. These include:
- The cost of a college education
- Financial resources available to both parties
- The relationship between the parent and child
- Financial aid availability
The State of New Jersey does not automatically emancipate a child once he or she reaches the age of 18. Rather, the state deems a child emancipated once they no longer are reliant upon their parents. If a child, for example, is over the age of 18 but is enrolled in school, they may be deemed reliant on the parents. Even if a child has moved out of the parent’s home and is employed, the state may recognize them as being reliant upon their parents for any number of reasons.
If a parent believes they should no longer be subject to child support payments, as they believe the child is no longer reliant upon their parents, they may petition the court for a motion of emancipation. The court will then determine the self-reliance of the child based on their needs, economic status, and interests.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer Today
Divorce is never enjoyable – especially if children are involved. If you are seeking a divorce, it is always advisable to talk with an experienced divorce lawyer beforehand. Understanding the complexities of child support payments, their longevity and the factors which can lead to their dismissal is crucial before you undertake legal proceedings. Contact the Law Offices of James C. DeZao today at (973) 358-6134 today for your free consultation. Our experienced family law attorneys are here to help you – and your children – through these most difficult of times in your lives.