When the duty to pay child support ends in New Jersey

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2021 | Child Support

When parents get divorced, the children should not suffer financial hardship. Child support from the noncustodial parent makes up for the lost household income. But just as childhood does not last forever, neither does child support — in most cases.

Many possible end dates for child support

In New Jersey, a child support order typically ends when the child turns 19. But a 2017 change to the law extends a parent’s child support obligation to the child’s 23rd birthday in the following situations:

  • The child is in high school
  • The child is in college, graduate school, vocational school or other post-secondary educational program
  • The child is disabled
  • The parents agreed to extend support past age 23
  • The court has ordered differently

A 2020 amendment recognized that children with severe disabilities might need financial support from their parents well past 23. If the child has a physical or mental disability that causes them to depend on one or both parents financially, the court can order child support to continue.

If you want child support to continue past your child’s 19th birthday, you must respond to the Notice of Proposed Child Support Obligation Termination that you and your co-parent will receive six months prior. The notice will explain what you should do to request an extension.

When Monmouth County parents disagree about child support

Child support needs can change over time. Besides extending the termination date, you or your co-parent can ask to increase or decrease the amount paid due to changing circumstances like job loss, a raise, or your children’s changing needs. If you are in a conflict with your ex over a child support adjustment or extension, a family law attorney can help.