Philadelphia, PA asked in Family Law and Child Support for New Jersey

Q: Why must I continue to pay Child support if my daughter moved out from home and is working and paying rent?

My daughter essentially emancipated herself after graduating high school. She is working and living on her own. I am still on the hook for 1200 bucks a month. Why am I still paying and why does no attorney I speak with think this I'd an issue?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Leonard R. Boyer
Leonard R. Boyer pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Clifton, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: Emancipation is not automatic, a motion to emancipate her has to be filed. If there are some facts that you have not provided, that would explain why no attorney you spoke to believes it is an issue. So if you not left out key facts, it would require a motion. However, if she is a special needs child or there is something in prior court orders, that may change the situation. Be prepared to furnish the Court documents from the Judgment of Divorce and any subsequent documents to an attorney and expect to pay between 1/2 to 1 hour of attorney time to have an answer furnished to you. Pick the best attorney you can find and remember one rule: a good attorney is generally never cheap, and a cheap attorney is generally never good so don't choose based on price. With modern technology, you can be represented by any high-quality

attorney in New Jersey irrespective of geography.

Richard Diamond
Richard Diamond
  • Short Hills, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: I dont mean to be rude but I think the answer is that you probably have not spoken with a family law specialist. Under the statute, the probation department is to stop collecting child support when an individual hits the age of 19 unless the individual is pursuing a higher education, and then the probation department will tell you that you need to file an application with the court to terminate your child support obligation or to have same reexamined.

In your setting, if your daughter graduated from high school, obtained full time employment, is living on her own away from your former spouse's home and your former spouse is not financially supporting her, it sounds like she is emancipated, and you have a legitimate basis to file an appropriate application with the court to terminate your child support obligation to her. But, before filing that application, I would make sure that each of the items above are correct and I would also suggest that you retain counsel to file the application so that you dont do it wrong and have it denied for the wrong reason (yes, if it is filed wrong, presume that the court will deny your application on procedural grounds).

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