Child Emancipation

Child Emancipation

Child Emancipation Attorneys in Bergen County, NJ

When are Children Emancipated From Child Support in NJ?

When it comes to family law, the term “emancipation” refers to the age at which children become financially independent from their parents. Emancipation can be relevant for parents who believe their child no longer requires child support, and for children who wish to make certain decisions for themselves that their parents may not allow, or approve of.

In many states, children are automatically emancipated when they turn 18. This is not the case in New Jersey. The determination of when a child is emancipated from his or her parents is handled on a case-by-case basis. In order to be emancipated, the child must not live with their parents or depend on the parents financially.

At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience handling child emancipation matters and its impacts on child support and other areas of family law. Call our office to discuss your individual needs and concerns regarding any kind of child emancipation or child support issue in a free and confidential consultation with our team of attorneys today.

Child Emancipation Attorneys Discuss Child Support

Parents are no longer obligated to pay child support once their child is emancipated, but when is a child emancipated in the eyes of the state? Several factors may prolong or cut short the period of time a parent owes child support. They are as follows:

  • Unless otherwise specified in the child support agreement, the obligation to pay child support shall be terminated when the child turns 19 years of age
  • If a court order specifies a different age, that will take precedence but may never exceed the age of 23
  • At age 23, child support is no longer required or allowed to be requested, under any circumstances.
  • A parent may submit a written request to continue child support beyond the age of 19 with sufficient cause and a finite future termination date. Qualifying causes for continued child support beyond the age of 19 include the child being a full-time student, including high school and beyond, and still living at home or the child have a disability which requires ongoing support
  • If the date of child support termination is reached and a parent is in arrears, the amount owed is not erased until all payments are made.

Emancipation statutes directly impact child support regulations in the state of New Jersey. Parents may also agree to terminate or modify child support at any time for any reason. Child emancipation is simply a factor in that decision when parents have not agreed to a set end-date. By working with your attorney to understand the particulars of your child’s emancipation matter, you will also understand the impact it may have on child support as well.

Child Emancipation Petitions in New Jersey

In New Jersey, emancipation is when a child is released from a parent in terms of both guardianship and financial support responsibility. After being emancipated, the parent is no longer entitled to make decisions for the child, and the child is no longer supported financially by the parent. It is possible for either a child or a parent to petition the court for emancipation for various reasons including a child’s freedom of choice or a parent’s belief that a child is no longer in need of child support.

Several factors may allow children to become emancipated before the predetermined dates as outlined above. It is important to note that a child must file for emancipation, and parents have the legal right to contest the motion. The court may also reverse the decision to emancipate a child at any time.

Here are reasonable causes for children to successfully file for emancipation:

  • The child is married
  • The child joins the military
  • The child becomes pregnant or has children of their own
  • The child is financially independent with full-time employment
  • The child no longer lives with his or her parents

None of these causes are in and of themselves guaranteed to grant the child emancipation. Each case is heard individually and the court considers all factors. The court is obligated to determine whether the child’s needs will be met once granted emancipation, and that the child may reasonably provide for him or herself without the legal guardianship of one or more parents.

Contact Our Hackensack Child Emancipation Lawyers Today

At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our family law attorneys have extensive experience walking our clients through matters relating to child emancipation. By practicing exclusively family and divorce law, our firm can provide each of our clients with experienced, effective, and individualized legal counsel that they need and deserve when it comes to matters so critical to their parental, legal, and financial futures. We believe in working personally with each of our clients, and that by keeping them involved and informed throughout the legal process, we can work together to meet the resolution that our clients need and deserve.

To speak with our firm today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your child emancipation or child support issue, contact our firm. 

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