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Emancipation of a Child in New Jersey

Emancipation in New Jersey

In New Jersey emancipation is not automatic, especially if a parent is ordered to pay child support through probation. A formal motion for emancipation must be filed. Parents have a legal duty to support their children from birth until emancipation, which "presumptively" occurs when the child reaches the "age of majority." Generally that means when the child turns eighteen (18) or upon high school graduation, whichever is later. It also can occur if the child is married or inducted into military service. We have over twenty-one years of experience in helping families with emancipation disputes. Call now to speak with a lawyer at the Law Offices of Kevin Crawford Orr about the facts of your case.

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Can Child Support Continue Beyond the Age of Majority?

Yes. In New Jersey emancipation only is presumed to occur at the age of majority. The presumption can be rebutted by proof that the child is not beyond the "sphere of parental influence." Such proof includes that the child is in college.

Also, if the child is severely disabled the obligation to pay child support may be continued. The relevant statute, N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(a), provides in part that:

    The obligation to pay support for a child who has not been emancipated by the court shall not terminate solely on the basis of the child's age if the child suffers from a severe mental or physical incapacity that causes the child to be financially dependent on a parent. The obligation to pay support for that child shall continue until the court finds that the child is relieved of the incapacity or is no longer financially dependent on the parent. However, in assessing the financial obligation of the parent, the court shall consider, in addition to the factors enumerated in this section, the child's eligibility for public benefits and services for people with disabilities and may make such orders, including an order involving the creation of a trust, as are necessary to promote the well-being of the child. As used in this section "severe mental or physical incapacity" shall not include a child's abuse of, or addiction to, alcohol or controlled substances.

Are Parents Required to Pay for College?

Generally, yes. For more information about the requirement to pay college tuition and room click here

Contact Us

Do not go through the stressful and emotional process of an emancipation family law dispute on your own. At the Law Offices of Kevin Crawford Orr, we can help. Contact us today for more information.

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