When a divorcing couple has children together, there are a few extra matters they must handle. New arrangements must be determined so that the child may continue on with a stable life. This includes not only child custody arrangements but child support payments. These payments are made from one parent to another to continue financially assisting their child even after the divorce. This exists so that the child can maintain the standard of living they were used to before their parents split.
When determining child support, a judge follows the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. This calculates the child’s living expenses with the family’s income. In addition to this, the judge considers several other factors about the family’s financial status. This includes their work history, earning capacity, the child’s needs, the cost of providing for the child, and more. By doing this, the court is able to fairly determine what the parents can afford to give their child a stable life.
Age of Emancipation
When a parent is awarded physical custody of their child, they are known as the custodial parent. With this job comes several responsibilities that a non-custodial parent does not typically have. The custodial parent is the individual with whom the child spends the majority of their time. This requires them to consistently provide the child with a home, clothing, food, an education, and much more. These costs can add up and become overwhelming for one parent to handle on their own. It is because of this that the non-custodial parent makes support payments to the custodial parent to assist with these expenses. This helps balance out the cost of living of the child so that it is both parents’ responsibility. The support payments must be paid until a child is deemed emancipation. In the state of New Jersey, the emancipation age is 19 years old.
While this is true, every family and their situations are different from one another. It is because of this that support payments do not always end at the age of 19. There are cases in which the court may extend support payments past this age. For example, if a child wishes to pursue college or trade school, the payments may continue until the child graduates and can support themselves. Alternatively, support payments may also end early. If a parent believes their child is able to provide for themselves, they can petition the court to emancipate their child. If the court approves of this, child support payments may be terminated.
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