Emancipation in New Jersey– Child Support for Children Who Graduate

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Law Office of Rachel S. Cotrino, LLC

Jackson, NJ

Practice Areas

Divorce, Family, Child Custody, Child Support, Military Divorce, Collaborative Divorce, Divorce Mediation

If you have a child who is graduating from either high school or college, you may qualify for a reduction or termination of your child support obligation.

Graduation is Right Around the Corner

Many of our loved ones are graduating from high school or college. In our society, such an event is a hallmark in an individual's life. For some, the departure from high school means that it is time for them to seek full time employment. For others, graduation means that they will attend college. Finally, there are those who will not pursue higher education or employment at all. This major life change may typically be a good reason to modify your child support obligation. This article will address emancipation of a child in the State of New Jersey. If this is something you are interested in, you should contact an attorney now, prior to graduation, to get started on your application to the court.

If you are paying child support for a child who is graduating from high school, college, or a trade school, you may qualify for a reduction, and in some cases, a termination of your support obligation to that child.

My Child Does Not Want to Work Or Go To College.

The children who pursue and obtain full-time employment, with no intent to enroll in higher education, are those most easily emancipated. The reason is because they are able to financially support themselves and do not require child support. Also, their decision to gain employment demonstrates their independence and movement away from their parents' sphere of influence. This rule also applies to recent college graduates.

College graduates, with plans to join the work force, are frequently emancipated as well. This is because they do not need their parents' support and have made the independent decision to join the workforce.

"My Child is Going to College"

Children who attend higher education immediately after high school graduation cannot be emancipated. It is debatable whether a child who takes a brief hiatus between high school and college may be emancipated. If you are paying for college (all or in part) and the child lives away from home, you still may be able to reduce your support.

Children who graduate high school, with no intent to obtain employment or attend formal schooling, may also be emancipated, in some cases. The decision not to work or go to school is a clear hallmark of independence. However, those children with special needs may not be as easily emancipated, it depends on your case.

What Do I Do Next?

The first thing to do is contact a licensed New Jersey Attorney who practices family law and ask them to review your case. The attorney may ask you to bring any prior court orders and agreements between you and the other parent. Consulting an attorney is the most important step in proceeding in this type of litigation.

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