The Termination of Child Support Act became New Jersey law as of Feb. 1, 2017. Under this law, a parent’s child and medical support obligations end when the child becomes 19 years old.
As explained by the New Jersey Department of Child Support, however, the obligations may extend to your child’s 23rd birthday under the following circumstances:
- He or she still attends high school
- He or she attends a post-secondary educational institution full time
- He or she is disabled
- You and your child’s other parent agreed to a different support-ending date
- A court decreed a different support-ending date
As of Dec. 1, 2020, a court can also extend a parent’s child and medical support obligations beyond the child’s age 23 if it finds that the child has a severely diminished mental or physical capacity that necessitates his or her continued dependency on the parent.
Six months before your child turns 19, the court will mail both you and your child’s other parent a Notice of Proposed Child Support Obligation Termination that specifies the date on which the court proposes to end child and medical support obligations. If you are your child’s custodial parent, you can ask the court for a written extension of this date for good cause shown.
If neither you nor your child’s other parent responds to the initial Notice, the court will mail a second one to both of you 90 days later. If neither of you again responds or contests the proposed support-ending date, the court will issue its order on that date terminating the support obligations.
Keep in mind, however, that if you are your child’s noncustodial parent and owe back child support when the termination order goes into effect, this does not relieve you of the responsibility to catch up on all back payments.