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"Beyond the sphere of influence"

Cranford, NJ |

What exactly does that phrase mean? If a kid stills lives at home, constantly seeks advise from their parent, can't support themselves, etc. Are they under the sphere of influence? Does the definition vary by judge?

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Attorney answers 4


There is no cookie cutter one size fits all definition to answer your question. It is based on the totality of the circumstances of each particular case. This often appears in emancipation cases where one party wants to emancipate their adult child and in doing so be relieved of the responsibility of paying child support and the other party wants to avoid a finding of emancipation. You're going to want to discuss this in person with a family law attorney at a consultation for further clarification as it pertains to your particular situation.

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Mr. Skiendziul has provided you with an excellent resonse, i.e. there is no "one size fits all answer." Basically, the question the court would seek to answer was whether the child is still dependent on his/her parents.

Kenneth A. White, Esq.
New Jersey Divorce Attorney

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This definition is very fact specific as the other two lawyers explained.


While there is a degree of "art" to the question, there are presumptions in the law which control whether a child should be considered emancipated. First, at age 18 a child is presumed to be emancipated - the parent seeking to continue support has the legal burden of showing that support is still warranted under the law. This is accomplished primarily be showing that the child is a full time student or is disabled. Absent either of these, a judge can't say "well, he lives at home and seeks advice..." The Appellate Division has reversed several decisions to the contrary.

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.