I live in NJ with my wife. My daughter lives in FL with her mother. My daughter is 18 and will graduate HS June 2012. Her mother and I were never married. Neither my daughter nor her mother work. I have paid child support to her mother since she was born. We never involved a lawyer or the courts. I would like to know how I stop paying child support upon her graduation. Can I just stop writing the monthly check or does it need to be done legally? If it needs to be done legally, what will I need to do? My childs mother assumes that the child support will continue until my daughter moves out of her home.
Thank you for your help.
It depends upon whether NJ law applies to your matter.
DISCLAIMER This answer is provided for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you agree and understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site cannot be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices law in the State where this offense is charged; and, who has experience in the area of law you are asking questions about and with whom you would have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question, or in the State where this charge is filed
If there was never an Order entered by any court establishing a child support obligation you can stop forwarding your checks and that would likely be the end of it, provided your daughter is no longer a full-time student nor has special needs limiting her ability to be self-sufficient.
If an Order exist establishing your child support obligation you will need to secure an Order, whether by consent or by filing the appropriate application in court, to emancipate your daughter and to terminate the child support obligation. Those papers should be filed in the same court that initially established the child support obligation.
The Answer provided was based on the limited information provided, and represents information based on the law in general, not a legal opinion that can be relied upon. Before a formal legal opinion can be offered I would need an opportunity to review all possible relevant facts and circumstances. You cannot rely on the advice of an attorney given over the internet. The exact facts of your sitaution, including facts which you have not mentioned in your question, may completely change the opinion that is being offered. Please be aware that the above comments are neither protected by attorney-client privilege, nor may the same be the basis for a malpractice lawsuit.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
The law of the State entering the first child support order governs emancipation (regardless of where the parties and/or the child live thereafter). If there's no court order, I'd suggest filing a motion in Florida to affirm that your CS obligation ends July 1, 2012. You'd have to get Florida counsel to do this -- do NOT file it in NJ.
IF YOU LIKE THIS ANSWER AND APPRECIATE THE TIME IT TOOK TO WRITE IT, PLEASE SELECT IT AS "BEST ANSWER." Thanks. The above is said without seeing your case file and without my understanding the entirety of the facts of your case. Depending on those facts, the above information be may incomplete or may be completely inaccurate. The above is intended as general information only based on what you described and not as legal advice. I advise you to consult with counsel who may be able to provide better information commensurate with a better understanding of your situation.