Termination of Child Support upon Emancipation in New Jersey By Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. Child support is usually paid through a wage withholding garnishment at the parents job. Child support orders and wage withholding continue forever against you until a Superior Court Judge signs a Formal Court Order terminating or modifying support. It is not sufficient for you to simply wait for a child to finish school. Many Divorce decrees and Property Settlement Agreements state that child support will end upon emancipation. For example, the term "emancipation" is sometimes defined as follows: (i) The completion of the childs formal education on a matriculated basis, whether it be graduation from a four year undergraduate school or high school, it being understood that so long as the child is diligently pursuing his formal education through a four year undergraduate college education and obtaining passing grades the child shall not be considered emancipated. (ii) Upon the completion of any of the aforesaid segments of the childs education, and upon the failure to commence the next segment of his education, or upon leaving school, the child shall be deemed emancipated unless failure to continue on with his education has resulted from injury or illness or some other cause beyond the childs control. (iii) The marriage of the child. (iv) Entry into the military or armed forces by the child.
Your attorney can draft the appropriate Motion to terminate child support if the child is emancipated. You will need to provide your attorney with relevant papers including a copy of the Final Judgment for Divorce, any other Child Support Orders, copy of birth certificate if available, proof of graduation from school or working full time, etc. Sometimes the child support recipient, usually the mother, will sign a Consent Order which your attorney can file without the need for a formal Motion. However, generally a Formal written Notice of Motion must be filed in the County Superior Court where the child support Order was entered. The requirements of the Motion are detailed and must include the correct filing fees. Child support does not end merely if the child reaches 18 and graduates high school. Most child support Order continue child support if the child is in college full time. However, dont give up. In the unreported Appellate Division decision of Kozak v Kozak __ NJ Super. __ (App. Div. decided January 9, 2003) the court reduced child support during the period of time the child resided at the college campus. The judge properly determined it was appropriate to calculate child support only for the period of time the child was not residing at college. http://www.njlaws.com/term_of_child_support_upon_emancipation.htm KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC ATTORNEY AT LAW 2053 Woodbridge Ave. Edison, NJ 08817