Beginning in March 2016, an important new statute dealing with child support in New Jersey will take effect.
Essentially, the statute states that child support will terminate automatically when a child reaches age 19 unless a Court Order extends the time for certain reasons (which are listed in the statute). In no event, however, does the court have the power to extend the time beyond age 23.
Some of the reasons for extensions of time include the following:
- The child is still in high school at age 19
- The child is enrolled as a full-time student in a post-secondary school
- The child has a physical or mental disability
The statute is fairly broad, but it still leaves some serious unanswered questions. For example, if a child is permanently disabled as of age 23, why would child support cease then? Why would that support not continue? What was the rationale of the NJ lawmakers who passed the legislation?
Another issue could arise in a situation where a child becomes ill or is involved in an accident during post-secondary education and, as a result, cannot finish before age 23. Does that child lose child support?
As the New Jersey courts interpret the statute, we should get some answers to these questions.
If you are considering filing for divorce, have already started the divorce process, or are still dealing with the ramifications of a completed divorce, a qualified family law attorney can assist you with various issues that might arise. The successful family law and divorce lawyers at Graziano & Flynn, P.C. have decades of experience helping people to navigate the divorce courts in New Jersey. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your case.