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Follow up Mark S Guralnick - Emancipation of college student who is suspended for low GPA

Montclair, NJ |

What other evidence of an unproductive life can I provide. I have very little contact because he is so belligerent. His Mother has trained him to prolong this to continue support. He is lazy and only works here and there. He refused a job because he would have to pay taxes on his income. He will only work for cash just like his Mother. He is certainly outside the sphere of influence of ME but will probably never be outside the influence of his Mother. How long can this go on?? What can I possibly do to put an end to this outrage?

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Attorney answers 2


There's a few places we have to look to answer your questions. The starting point is N.J.S.A. 9:17B-3 which says that persons over 18 are legal adults. So, first, how much beyond 18 years old is your son? Then we look at the famous precedent -- Newburgh vs. Arrigo -- that addresses the 12 factors involved in paying support and tuition for college kids... The court will be required to balance all of the factors -- the child's needs, interests, and independent resources, the family's reasonable expectations and your financial abilities. Did you and the Mother make any agreements at the time of the divorce?

But at the end of the day, the question still boils down to this: Has your son reached an independent status in his life? Is he hanging around because of convenience or laziness, or is he totally dependent on his mother and you for support? For guidance?

I understand that your son is "belligerent" and under his mother's wing -- not yours. So that means that we would have to go the extra mile in preparing an emancipation motion-- to prove that he works for cash, but that he works nonetheless...and is capable of stepping fully into adulthood at this point (certainly if he's not committed to a college education).

Call, and we'll discuss further...


If he was suspended for a low gpa, then you have a strong case. Students must maintain a passing grade point average as a criteria to remain unemancipated.