How Long Do I Need to Pay Support for an Adult Child in New Jersey?

If you’re paying or receiving child support for older children, you may be wondering when the support will end. New Jersey law outlines specific rules regarding support for an adult child after he or she reaches age 19.

Ending Support for an Adult Child in New Jersey

Unless a court order or judgment specifies otherwise, a parent automatically terminates his or her obligation to pay support on the date that the child does one of the following:

  • Marries
  • Dies
  • Enters the military
  • Reaches age 19

A support obligation ends without a court order when a child reaches 19 years of age unless:

  1. A court order specifies another age (which can’t extend beyond age 23)
  2. The custodial parent requests continuing child support before the child reaches age 19
  3. The child receiving support is in an out-of-home placement through the Division of Child Protection and Permanency in the Department of Children and Families

When the custodial parent receives a notice of upcoming termination of child support, he or she may request a continuation of support beyond the date the child reaches 19 years old.

Requesting an Extension of Support

A custodial parent may file a motion to extend child support payments. The court requires specific forms and supporting documentation within a strict time frame. A support extension may be possible if the child:

  • Is still enrolled in high school or another secondary educational program
  • Is a full-time student in a post-secondary education program
  • Has a disability that requires support and existed prior to age of 19

If the parent’s completed form and supporting documentation establish sufficient proof to continue support for an adult child, the court may issue an order establishing a new date of child support termination. Both parents will then receive a copy of the court order.

If the parent responsible for child support disagrees with the court’s decision to continue support beyond age 19, he or she may file a motion with the court seeking relief from the obligation.

Questions? We Can Help.

If you have an older child, you may have questions about terminating or extending support. We welcome you to contact Petrelli Previtera, LLC. Our family law attorneys can give you the information you need to get on the right track.