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  1. #1
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    Aug 2018
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    Default Child Support After Age 18

    My question involves child support in the state of: NJ, PA

    Hi, not sure if this question belongs here or in the Children section but here goes.

    My wife was previously married in NJ. We live just across the border now, in PA. Her divorce agreement stipulated monthly child support payments for her then 12-year-old daughter, who chose to stay in NJ with her father so she wouldn't have to change schools. We had shared custody.

    Her daughter turned 18 back in March and graduated high school this past June. In Sept, my wife's ex passed away. Her daughter still lives in her father's home (which is hers now, with her older sister, who is 29) and attends community college full-time while working.

    My wife feels she is still obligated to pay the child support, even though the 'child' in this case is over 18, lives in her own home now (one of two properties left to the girls by their father, among other assets), and works. My wife said it's some NJ law. It seems the divorce decree may now be invalid, since her ex has passed, and it seems like her daughter is now emancipated and an adult, so I'm not so sure.

    Any opinions on this? Thanks in advance for any help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Child Support After Age 18

    Unless the law has changed drastically in the last few years, your wife may be right. NJ law is weird in that child support does not stop automatically - the NCP has to apply to have it stopped. My BIL was found by the court to be responsible for child support even after all of his children were over 18 (his oldest was 23, and only one of them still lived at home) because he had not realized he had to take that step.

    While this situation is a little different, I would recommend that your wife talk to a family law attorney in NJ sooner rather than later.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    2,213

    Default Re: Child Support After Age 18

    The divorce decree is not "invalid" because of your wife's ex's death. However, the obligation to pay child support may have terminated because there's no longer a living payee who could seek to enforce the obligation. However, the laws in many mid-Atlantic and northeastern states provide for the possibility of child support well into a child's adulthood, so your wife would be smart to consult with a family law attorney in New Jersey about this and, if necessary, how to terminate the payment obligation formally.

  4. #4
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    Dec 2009
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    Default Re: Child Support After Age 18

    Quote Quoting pg1067
    View Post
    The divorce decree is not "invalid" because of your wife's ex's death.
    Yes really, where did OP and/or his wife get that idea? Think of the millions of couples who get officially legal divorces and then one or both gets legally married again...if one member of the original couple dies, does that mean the other one - if married - is suddenly a bigamist? I think not.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    6,804

    Default Re: Child Support After Age 18

    Quote Quoting Diver4242
    View Post
    My question involves child support in the state of: NJ, PA

    Hi, not sure if this question belongs here or in the Children section but here goes.

    My wife was previously married in NJ. We live just across the border now, in PA. Her divorce agreement stipulated monthly child support payments for her then 12-year-old daughter, who chose to stay in NJ with her father so she wouldn't have to change schools. We had shared custody.

    Her daughter turned 18 back in March and graduated high school this past June. In Sept, my wife's ex passed away. Her daughter still lives in her father's home (which is hers now, with her older sister, who is 29) and attends community college full-time while working.

    My wife feels she is still obligated to pay the child support, even though the 'child' in this case is over 18, lives in her own home now (one of two properties left to the girls by their father, among other assets), and works. My wife said it's some NJ law. It seems the divorce decree may now be invalid, since her ex has passed, and it seems like her daughter is now emancipated and an adult, so I'm not so sure.

    Any opinions on this? Thanks in advance for any help!
    So what your question really is is does my wife have to continue paying child support. And you object to her paying that support. Is that correct?

    Whether or not the court would compel your wife to continuing paying support is not really the issue. If she feels obligated to pay (and is able to do so) to help her child then you should not be objecting to it.

    It is she that would have to go back to court not you. And since it looks like she is able and willing you should butt out.

    It is common that support orders in NJ run through the college years. And even if the order doesn't run through collage and she want to continue support you should not make an issue of it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Child Support After Age 18

    budwad, I'm pretty shocked and offended at the assumptions you've made here, and your tone. Is that typical of this forum, to be attacked unnecessarily for asking a question? Also to eerelations, we're lay people, not attorneys. It's why we came here to ask. We were discussing this and not sure of the legal obligation. Two "senior members" made rather hurtful inferences and I'm surprised, but hey, it's the internet.

    We help all of our children from both marriages, as best we can. I have been laid off and we are trying to assess our finances and budget going forward. My wife is also having a lot of health issues and I would like her to stop working, as her work travel is a primary cause. I'm also having some health issues. We're not spring chickens. Thank goodness we asked because we weren't aware of the requirement to formally request the end of support when the time comes.

    It's more than I wanted to share here, but I felt it necessary to defend us to some extent.

    PS You it's spelled "college," not "collage" (irony).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    6,804

    Default Re: Child Support After Age 18

    What assumption do you think I made? That your wife is fine making support payments and you are looking for ways or reasons that she doesn't have to make those payment? That is something between yourself and your wife. Not a legal question unless you are looking for legal reasons why she doesn't have to pay the support. That is what you are looking for. That is what you asked.

    My wife feels she is still obligated to pay the child support, even though the 'child' in this case is over 18, lives in her own home now (one of two properties left to the girls by their father, among other assets), and works. My wife said it's some NJ law. It seems the divorce decree may now be invalid, since her ex has passed, and it seems like her daughter is now emancipated and an adult, so I'm not so sure.
    The fact is that the court outer will never see the light of day again unless someone goes to court be that your wife or the child.

    Does your wife know that you posed that question on this forum? Just wondering.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    16,080

    Default Re: Child Support After Age 18

    Quote Quoting Diver4242
    View Post
    budwad, I'm pretty shocked and offended at the assumptions you've made here, and your tone. Is that typical of this forum, to be attacked unnecessarily for asking a question? Also to eerelations, we're lay people, not attorneys. It's why we came here to ask. We were discussing this and not sure of the legal obligation. Two "senior members" made rather hurtful inferences and I'm surprised, but hey, it's the internet.

    We help all of our children from both marriages, as best we can. I have been laid off and we are trying to assess our finances and budget going forward. My wife is also having a lot of health issues and I would like her to stop working, as her work travel is a primary cause. I'm also having some health issues. We're not spring chickens. Thank goodness we asked because we weren't aware of the requirement to formally request the end of support when the time comes.

    It's more than I wanted to share here, but I felt it necessary to defend us to some extent.

    PS You it's spelled "college," not "collage" (irony).
    Read the information provided here:

    https://www.rgfamilylaw.com/blog/201...-faqs-in-2017/

    I think that you will find it useful. It does appear that your wife's daughter would be considered to be emancipated under NJ law as she is living independently from a parent. It also appears that the child support order terminated when the father died. Now, however, since your wife's daughter is still in school its possible that if her older sister (the 29 year old) is providing significant support to the wife's child, that SHE might be able to file for a child support order...but its not guaranteed, not even remotely.

    Again though, I agree with the others that if your wife WANTS to continue to support her child, that is her right.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Child Support After Age 18

    "That is something between yourself and your wife." Exactly. Thank you.

    No, it's not why we asked, again, a poor and incorrect assumption on your part. We're asking because of our financial situation and to avoid the kind of legal peril outlined by others when the time comes.

    Yes, she is also monitoring, thankfully I won't let her respond here to you the way she did when she saw your post.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    2,213

    Default Re: Child Support After Age 18

    Quote Quoting Diver4242
    View Post
    budwad, I'm pretty shocked and offended at the assumptions you've made here, and your tone. Is that typical of this forum, to be attacked unnecessarily for asking a question?
    Unfortunately, it's typical of "budwad" to speculate ignorantly about folks' motivations (that's why I have him/her/it on mute).

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