On January 19, 2016, New Jersey Governor Christie signed a bill into law that will significantly alter New Jersey’s current policy as it relates to the termination of child support payments. Bill S-1046/A-2721 will take effect on February 1, 2017, spelling implications for many parents across the state who are currently subject to child support arrangements.
The first fundamental change to New Jersey’s child support policy relates to the age at which child support obligations are terminated. According to the new law, child support obligations will come to an end when the child reaches the age of 19. For children already over the age of 19, child support will be terminated on the day that the law becomes effective, February 1st of next year.
Custodial parents with children over the age of 19 can apply for a continuation of child support; however, they must provide sufficient evidence to support the necessity for continuation of child support payments and must also request a specific date upon which child support will be terminated. According to the new law, reasonable justification for child support continuation may include:
- The child is still enrolled in high school
- The child is attending college full-time
- The child is attending vocational school full-time
- The child is attending graduate school full-time
- The child is disabled
If the court grants a continuation of child support, the court will compose a new order for child support which includes the projected termination date. The date for termination can occur any time before the child reaches the age of 23.
Certain circumstances remain outside of the purview of the new policy. For instance, in cases wherein the previously-reached Judgement of Divorce includes a specific date for child support termination, that date will remain enforceable. In other cases in which the parties reach a separate agreement or a continuation of child support has been granted, these agreements will remain in effect.
In addition to the aforementioned changes, Bill S-1046/A-2721 delineates new procedures with regard to child support termination notifications. The process will be as follows: both parents will receive a notification for proposed termination of child support, known as an initial Notice of Child Support Termination, 180 days prior to the child’s 19th birthday. If no action is taken for a continuation by the custodial parent, a second notification will be sent 90 days prior to the termination date. During this period, the custodial parent may request a continuation by filing the appropriate documentation with the court.
If you intend to seek a continuation of child support payments, you receive an updated order for continued support and wish to oppose it, or you have younger children and need to obtain an adjustment of child support payments after one of your children reaches age 19, the experienced divorce and family law attorneys at Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark can walk you through the process and ensure that the appropriate applications or motions are filed with the court. To speak with one of our knowledgeable lawyers today, contact our offices in Bergen County at at 201-397-1750 for a cost-free consultation.
For additional information regarding the new policy with regard to child support termination in New Jersey, view the following: Important Notice: Passage of Termination of Child Support Law.
For additional information related to child support policies and procedures in New Jersey, visit our Child Support FAQ’s page.