A child support order requires both parents to financially support their children. In addition to a monetary amount, the parents may be obligated to pay for child care and medical care and treatment. The obligation to financially support children of a relationship in the event of divorce or the termination of the parental relationship exists until the child is 19 in New Jersey. Legislation automatically terminating the child support obligation went into effect in February of 2017. Absent a court order, parents are obligated to financially support their child or children until emancipation or an order from the court modifying the child support obligation or terminating it.
New Jersey Child Support Law
When a child reaches the age of 19, New Jersey law, automatically ends child support. The exceptions to this rule are:
- Parties can agree to support for more than the 19 years but the obligation cannot go beyond 23 years. The court order includes an age over 19 but under 23;
- The custodial parent requests continuation of child support in writing prior to the child reaching the age of 19; and
- The child is in foster care through the Division of Child Protection and Permanency.
- Additionally, the New Jersey child support law now is that the obligation to pay child support shall end without a court order on the date the child marries, dies, or enters into military service.
Modifications of Child Support Orders
A parent experiencing “changed circumstances” may petition the court for a modification of their child support order. A modification or change can increase or decrease the child support order. In order to obtain a modification, the parent needs to prove that the changes are permanent, substantial, and unanticipated. Temporary changes, like a layoff, generally cannot support a modification request and are often denied if the sole reason is a temporary change in circumstances.
In granting a modification of a child support order, the court will look at several factors to arrive at a decision. Some of them are:
- The needs of the child;
- All sources of income and assets of each parent;
- The responsibility of the parents for the court-ordered support of other people;
- The reasonable debts and liabilities of each child and parent; and
- Any other factors the court may deem relevant.
For a complete list of the factors, contact the Family Law Attorney Newark to discuss the circumstances of your modification request.
Contact a Family Law Attorney in Newark, New Jersey
To obtain help requesting a modification of an existing child support order, contact a Family Law Attorney in Newark to discuss your circumstances and seek legal representation. Child support modifications are only granted in New Jersey if at least one parent can show a change in his or her circumstances that makes the modification necessary. Schedule a confidential consultation today with a professional Family Law Attorney in Newark. Ask us about New Jersey’s child custody and visitation or parenting time laws and how they affect your family. The Family Law Attorney in Newark can help you understand your rights during a child support or modification of child support proceeding. The Giro Law Firm provides legal services in a variety of divorce and family law matters, including contested divorces, prenuptial agreements, paternity testing, parental rights, adoption, spousal support, and civil union agreements.