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Do I Have to Pay Child Support in New Jersey?

If you and your spouse have a child, and you decide to get divorced, you will have to determine what to do when it comes to child support and child custody. These matters can be determined through the court or through mediation depending upon your circumstances and the terms of your relationship with your spouse. If you have any questions regarding child support and when you can stop paying it, read on for more information.

What is Child Support?

The state of New Jersey requires that both parents financially assist their children. In order to accomplish this, child support payments must be made by the child’s non-custodial parent. The amount that is owed by the parent is settled by a judge through the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines calculate the cost of living for a child with the income of the parents. Several other factors are also considered when establishing child support payments. Through this, the judge is able to determine a fair amount that is owed in child support payments.

What is Emancipation?

Legally, parents are required to support their children. Generally, this stops at a certain age known as the “age of emancipation.” In the state of New Jersey, the age of emancipation is typically 18 years of age. However, this age is not concrete. There are certain circumstances in which child support may end early or be extended.

An extension for support, resulting in the delay of emancipation, may occur in the event of the following circumstances:

  • The child goes on to receive a higher education, such as college or trade school, and cannot yet support themselves

When Will the State Recognize my Child as Emancipated?

When talking about emancipation, it is important to understand that every case is treated differently in the state of New Jersey. In order to consider a child as emancipated, the court must recognize several different factors of the child’s life. Some factors that may call for the emancipation of your child include:

  • The child turns 18-years-old
  • Becomes pregnant or has a child
  • Gets married
  • Enters the military
  • Lives independently, depending on their level of autonomy

What if I Don’t Pay Child Support?

If you are ordered to pay child support and you do not, you can end up in serious legal trouble. If you have any questions about child support or you would like to modify your current child support agreement, contact our firm today. We are here to walk you through all of your family law matters.


If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.