NJ Child Support Law
Under NJ child support law, all parents have a continuous duty to provide financial support for their children. Child support payments will be made by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent to help cover the costs of raising the child.
What Age Does Child Support End in NJ?
The child will be deemed emancipated upon reaching the age of 18 if he or she has “moved beyond the sphere of influence” of his or her parents. However, there are certain circumstances whereby child support payments may continue, such as continued high school or physical/mental disability. These circumstances include a court order specifying a different age for termination of child support, a written request asking to continue child support payments is submitted, and more.
As of Feb. 1, 2017, the statute N.J.S.A. 2A:17-56.67 states, child support automatically terminates upon the child:
- Passing away
- Getting married
- Reaching the age of 19
- Entering military service
New Jersey Child Support Guidelines
To determine the amount of child support, the court uses the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. The amount of child support is based on the average amount of money that intact families spend on their children and the income of both parents.
According to NJChildSupport.org, the guidelines are used by:
"Determining income and deductions, using the Guidelines charts, calculating both parents' shares, and taking care of special add-ons, deductions, and poverty tests."
The NJ child support guidelines have different rules for sole parenting vs. shared parenting. While the guidelines apply to almost everybody, there are specific situations where the court may not use the guidelines in determining the amount of child support. For example, if a family has more than six children, is too poor to make payments, or has other problems, the family may be able to request the court to bypass the guidelines.
If you have bills related to caring for sick or elderly loved ones, high medical expenses, a disabled spouse who is unable to work, or something similar, then you can ask the court to make an exception for your child support case.
How Is Child Support Determined in New Jersey?
New Jersey family law court will determine how much child support is owed by considering:
- Needs of the child;
- Standard of living and economic circumstances of each parent;
- All sources of income and assets of each parent;
- Earning ability of each parent, including educational background, training, employment skills, work experience, custodial responsibility for children including the cost of providing child care and the length of time and cost of each parent to obtain training or experience for appropriate employment;
- Need and capacity of the child for education, including higher education;
- Age and health of the child and each parent;
- Income, assets and earning ability of the child;
- Responsibility of the parents for the court-ordered support of others;
- Reasonable debts and liabilities of each child and parent; and
- Any other factors the court may deem relevant.
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