By: Rebecca Bernstein, Esq.
The New Jersey Legislature has recently enacted N.J.S.A. 2A:17-56.67, which will officially go into effect on February 17, 2017. Under this new statute, a parent’s obligation to pay child support will automatically terminate when a child reaches age 19, unless the court orders otherwise. Even with a Court-ordered extension of child support, a parent’s obligation should not extend beyond the child’s 23rd birthday. The statute provides that a child who is 23 or older may be able to file a motion seeking an order requiring their parent to pay other forms of financial maintenance.
In a recent case coming out of Ocean County, J.C. v. A.C., the trial court was faced with deciding whether a child, who would turn 23 shortly after achieving a bachelor’s degree, was entitled to continue to receive financial support from a parent for graduate school. Judge Lawrence Jones examined the new statute with the facts of this case and recognized that the Legislature “left the door open” about whether a parent could be obligated to contribute another form of financial support for the child going on to obtain graduate education.
If you have questions about obligations for child support or college contributions, contact one of our lawyers at 732-409-1144. We will help you find the right position to take.