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.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
It depends upon whether NJ law applies to your matter.
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Family Law Attorney
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.
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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.
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