New Jersey child support can be tricky after 18 years of age | Lane & Lane, LLC
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New Jersey child support can be tricky after 18 years of age

Some New Jersey readers may not understand all of the obligations of court ordered child support payments. Recently, a young woman who thought that she would benefit from support payments until she turned 23 found out the hard way that was not the case. The reason the existing child support order and college financial support was vacated was because the woman was found to have been emancipated.

The 22-year-old thought that she would be living under the financial influence of her adoptive father until she turned 23. However, the courts ruled that she voluntarily moved from the home of her mother -- who had been receiving child support payments from the adoptive father since their divorce -- took a part-time job and attended college classes paid for by her biological father. Accordingly, the court declared her to be emancipated. As such, the adoptive father was relieved of any further obligation to pay child support.

When the adoptive father married the woman's mother, he immediately adopted his step-daughter. After the parents divorced, he was ordered to pay child support, including support for attending college for the young woman once she reached that age. However, the daughter then decided to move from her mother's home and live with her biological father, who took on the responsibility of paying for her sporadic community college education. Those actions negated any responsibility of the adoptive father to pay for the college expenses.

Child support cases can be challenging, especially after the child has reached the age of 18. If a parent who is ordered to receive the child support is not receiving payment, a New Jersey family law attorney can help pursue enforcement of the court order. If the paying parent feels that the child is emancipated and that no more funds are owed, an attorney can help prepare and present a petition to the court seeking relief from an existing court order.

Source:, "N.J. woman who moved out of mom's house can't get child support from divorced dad, courts rule", Jessica Beym, April 13, 2015

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