The Future of Child Support in New Jersey
Effective February 1, 2017, the child support laws in New Jersey will change.
The current law establishes 19 as the age when a child support and/or medical support obligation will end.However, the new law allows for child and/or medical support to continue up to age 23 for cases in which: the dependent is still in high school; or the dependent is attending full-time college, vocational or graduate school; or the dependent is disabled; or the parties reached a separate agreement; or continued support was granted by the court. This new law shifts the burden of proof onto the parent receiving the child support to demonstrate the need for the continued support and provide proof that the child falls into one of the aforementioned exceptions.
If support arrears exist when support terminates, the arrears will remain due and enforceable.The new law determines how payment for such arrears will be made, as the "sum of the recurring child support obligation in effect immediately prior to the effective date of termination plus any arrears repayment obligation in effect immediately prior to the effective date of termination" unless otherwise ordered. These changes may have onerous effects on the parent receiving child support. It is critical that newly drafted agreements reference these changes and address them.