New Jersey Emancipation of a Child
In New Jersey, there are several ways a child may become emancipated (or a legal adult), some of the reasons include:
- A child has reached the age of 18
- The child marries
- The child moves beyond the sphere of influence of the parents
- The child becomes an active member of the armed forces
- The child is no longer pursuing education and is working full-time
It is important to remember that NJ emancipation varies from household to household. The standard for the emancipation of a child in New Jersey is oftentimes expanded in a number of circumstances, especially when a child continues beyond high school to post-secondary education or has special needs. Since the child is typically recognized to still need financial support from his or her parents, he or she is not automatically emancipated at the age of 18. This may allow the child to continue to receive child support necessary to pursue a college or graduate education.
Understanding Your Financial and Legal Obligations
Before you stop making New Jersey court-ordered or agreed upon child support payments, it is important to seek the guidance of a knowledgeable NJ child support attorney about your specific situation. Many New Jersey parents mistakenly believe that their obligations and responsibilities will automatically terminate once their child reaches the age of majority. As a result, many parents stop making court-ordered child support payments, under the assumption that their child is now emancipated. Failure to pay New Jersey child support can result in significant penalties and possibly even jail time.
In New Jersey, the right to receive child support is the child's right—not the parent's right. If you receive support on behalf of your child, you should not necessarily accept termination of payments simply because your child has turned 18. Even if you believe that it is reasonable for child support to end, your child may have rights to further support. As long as your child is in need of financial support, parents may be obligated to continue their NJ child support payments.
NJ Child Support and Emancipation Attorneys on Your Side
If your child has turned 18, it is important to have a seasoned New Jersey emancipation and child support attorney on your side. At Weinberger Law Group, our verteran NJ child support attorneys can help you understand all of the legal and financial responsibilities related to your family—regardless of your situation. Let us help you with all aspects of your New Jersey child support, emancipation, modification and enforcement needs.