Hillsborough, NJ asked in Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for New Jersey

Q: How long do the terms of divorce decree remain in affect.

Now that our son is 18 and in college am I (custodial parent) still bound by the joint legal guidelines of our divorce decree? Do I still have to communicate with non-custodial and provide info on healthcare, school, etc. as I did in the past when he was in high school? Our only form of communication is email (stated in decree) at what point can I block or no longer respond? If he no longer pays child support am I legally bound to provide any information? He has no relationship with son, never had visitations or any over nights. Basically do I still need to keep him informed about our son or can that now be our sons responsibility if he choose to communicate with him.

1 Lawyer Answer
Richard Diamond
Richard Diamond
  • Millburn, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: Your request focused on whether you still need to provide information to your ex about your son ( who you say is now in college). Under a joint legal custodial plan setting ( without reading your agreement) presumably requires communication about major decisions affecting your son's health and educational pursuits.

BUT, I am concerned about your statement that your ex no longer is paying child support since your son started college. Is your ex paying for college or contributing to the cost of it?

The fact that your son is in college, does not mean that he is emancipated or that your ex's obligation for support ended. Even if the agreement is silent as to the payment of college costs and support for your son while in college, does not mean that under NJ law, he simply gets to wipe his hands of the obligation to support him.

My suggestion is that you schedule a consultation with my office to review the terms of your agreement, the details of your son's college costs, loans outstanding, and whether your son is living away from home or on campus. It may be that your ex should still be paying you support for your sons benefit, even if your ex has no relationship with him does not mean that he gets to absolve himself of a continued support obligation.

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