Child support can be a major expense. As a result, you may be wondering when you can stop paying child support. Read on to learn more about child support in New Jersey.
What is child support?
Child support is typically paid to the custodial parent to help ensure that the child’s standard of living is the same as, or better than, before the divorce. Often, the custodial parent pays more for food, clothing, and activities since they have the child for more nights of the week. The purpose of child support is to help alleviate the pressure of some of these costs.
How is Child Support Determined?
When a judge makes a decision about child support, he or she will generally consider:
- The child’s needs
- The family’s standard of living
- Each parent’s economic circumstances
- The earning ability of each party
- Each family member’s age and health
- Any income, assets, and earning ability of the child
- Other children in need of support
- Other factors deemed important
What is the age of emancipation in New Jersey?
It is important to understand that you cannot stop paying child support until it is decided by the court. Generally, child support must continue until the child reaches the age of emancipation. In New Jersey, the age of emancipation is generally 19 years old. However, it is necessary to understand that child support may be extended or terminated early depending on the circumstances. For example, child support is often extended when the child decides to pursue higher education. In other cases, child support can be terminated earlier if you can prove that the child is financially independent.
What if I refuse to pay child support?
If you refuse to pay child support, you can find yourself in serious legal trouble. In New Jersey, courts may enforce child support by:
- Suspending any professional licenses you may have
- Placing liens on your assets
- Garnishing your wages
- Seizing assets from your bank account
- Suspending your driver’s license
- Denying the renewal of your passport
- Seizing lottery winnings or other winnings, such as those obtained in personal injury claims
If you have any questions or concerns about child support in New Jersey, our firm is here to help. Reach out today to discuss your options with a skilled and experienced family law attorney.
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If you require strong and dedicated representation for any family law, criminal defense, business law, real estate law, or estate planning matter, contact The Law Offices of George J. Mardinly to schedule a consultation.