A new child support law becomes effective on February 1, 2017, and is applicable to all child support orders, whether entered prior to, or after February 1, 2017.
This law provides for the termination of child support when a child reaches the age of 19, unless the parties agree to a different age, or there is some other basis in which to continue support. Under no circumstance, however, can child support be extended beyond the age of 23.
In addition to termination of child support at the age of 19, the new law provides that child support will also terminate, without order, on the date a child marries, dies, or enters into the Military Service.
Additional NJ Child Support Guidelines
Once fully phased in, the new law provides that, if child support is being paid through the probation department, a custodial parent will receive notice 180 days prior to a child’s 19th birthday of the proposed child support termination.
At that time, a custodial parent who believes there is a basis to continue the child support beyond the child’s 19th birthday will have an opportunity to provide a written response to the probation department’s proposed termination.
A basis to continue child support beyond the child’s 19th birthday would include the child being enrolled in a full-time course of study, a child being disabled, or a court order (such as a marital settlement agreement, final judgment of divorce, or custody order, which provides for emancipation at a date other than the child’s 19th birthday).
If a custodial parent does not file a response to the first notice of proposed child support obligation termination, a second notice will be sent out 90 days before the child’s 19th birthday. If no response is received, the child support will be terminated as of the child’s 19th birthday.
Both parties will receive an order in the mail reflecting the termination of child support. If there is a reasonable basis (full-time enrollment at school, disability, or a court order providing for a different termination date), an order for continued support will issue.
A parent with a support obligation may oppose the continuation of support. In that instance, the parent must file an application or motion with the court. In addition, if there are multiple children and children who remain under the age of 19, a payor parent must return to court seeking to reduce their child support obligation based upon the emancipation of the child reaching the age of 19.