The 2017 Child Support Law Change
Governor Chris Christie recently signed the bill S-1046/A-2721 which states that effective February 2017, all child support obligations automatically terminate when the child reaches the age of 19 unless specifically stated otherwise in your Passaic County child support agreement. This law applies not only to child support agreements signed after this date, but to child support agreements signed before this date as well.
This has the potential to cause many complications for parents who signed child support agreements prior to this change in the law. Considering that 19 is generally the age at which children are pursuing higher education like college or post-secondary education, it is critical that any child support agreement you sign, or have already signed, plans for the many expenses associated with children attending college and university.
If you believe your child will attend university, speak with your Passaic County child support attorney regarding your options for accounting for this expense in your child support agreement, or modifying your existing agreement to take this new change in law into account.
Requesting a Continuation for Child Support in Passaic County, NJ
If you, like many parents, are affected by this change in New Jersey child support law, one option you have for extending child support is to file a “Request for Continuation of Support”. In order for your request for continuation of child support to be successful, one of three different factors will need to be true:
- Your child is still attending high school, or is enrolled in a secondary education program like a vocational school
- Your child is attending university, college, or post-secondary education full time
- Your child has a mental or physical disability which existed before the age of 19
In order to prove either the first or second factor, you will need to provide proof of your child’s full time enrollment. Importantly, things like transcripts, tuition bills, college acceptance letters, or financial aid documentation are not valid forms of proof. Instead, you will need either a letter from your child’s school on letterhead, or to submit an “enrollment verification form”. Enrollment verification forms are provided by several institutions depending on which programs your child’s college subscribes to, one of the most commonly used by colleges is the EnrollmentVerify provided by the National Student Clearinghouse®.
Of course, any time you are seeking, or facing, a petition for continuation of child support in Passaic County, retaining the counsel of an experienced Woodland Park child support attorney can be of great benefit. Your attorney can help you to ensure that you follow all of the necessary steps and protocols for such a petition, advise you on your options moving forward, and help you secure the legal outcome you need and deserve.
Terminating Child Support in Passaic County, NJ
As already mentioned, the new child support law automatically terminates child support obligations when the child reaches the age of 19, unless stated otherwise in your Passaic County child support agreement. However, child support legally cannot be requested, or received, for any child 23 years of age or older. Child support obligations will also automatically terminate should the child marry or enter military service.
While these above-mentioned terminations are called “automatic”, this is usually only the case when child support is paid through the probation division, as they will be actively managing your case. If you are paying child support directly to another parent, you may need to speak with your Clifton child support attorney about filing for a child support termination.
Beyond these “automatic” ages and situations for child support termination, child support obligations can also be terminated should the child in question become financially independent, known legally as “emancipated”. Additionally, if you are paying child support to help your child pursue full-time post-secondary education, but the child quits school, or attends on a part-time basis in order to work, it may be possible for you to modify or terminate child support payments. If any of these scenarios are the case, speak with your Clifton child support attorney regarding your options for child support termination.
Contact Our Woodland Park Child Support Lawyers Today
At The Law Office of The Montanari Law Group, our family law attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to draft child support agreements that properly account for the expenses of college education, modify child support agreements when circumstances change, secure continuations of child support, and terminate child support obligations when necessary in Clifton, Wayne, West Milford, Woodland Park, and the greater Passaic County area.
To speak with our firm today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your unique needs and concerns when it comes to your child support agreement, modifying child support, continuing child support, or terminating child support, please contact us online, or through our Little Falls, NJ office at (973) 233-4396.