Permanent Child Support Orders in New Jersey
Anytime a child support order is in place, even if it’s pendente lite (pending proceedings), it is permanent an alternate agreement by the parties or until a judge determines otherwise. If a court orders a certain amount of child support, that order would stay in effect until there is a different order for child support or child support is no longer needed, often due to emancipation.
If there were two or more children covered under guidelines, when each one becomes emancipated, the court would have to recalculate guidelines for any remaining children because one of the criteria in calculating guidelines is the number of children. Any existing child support order could become a permanent child support order in New Jersey, but there are many factors that go into determining what that order will look like. Understanding child support guidelines and timelines may be difficult, but with help from an experienced local child support lawyer, you could navigate these court processes with confidence.
Is Child Support Paid in a Lump Sum or Periodically?
Generally, child support payments are not made in a lump sum. Parents may agree for a lump sum payment and a court might allow it, but lump sum payments generally only happen for the payment of arrears. If one parent has neglected to pay child support for some period of time, they may see their pay or tax returns docked, but they may also be able to pay down their back payments with a single payment.
Generally, there is a schedule for support payments and they are often required once a month, once a week, or twice a month. This schedule will generally be created by and enforced by the court.
If payments are only made periodically, not in accordance with the regular schedule, the parent who owes payment will be in arrears. This is not only bad in that it might deprive the child of their due financial support, but it is also unlawful. If a person is in arrears for their payments, they may be penalized or see their pay docked. To ensure that schedules are followed or to demand payment of arrears, parents should work with an attorney.
Child Support Order Expiration in New Jersey
Generally, there is no defined duration because a child is entitled to financial support until they are emancipated or otherwise ineligible to receive the support. The only exception to child support eventually expiring would be if the child is disabled or cannot be emancipated due to mental or physical handicap or illness. Situations like these may require the family to establish a special needs trust to ensure they will be financially cared for. The state will also usually be giving social security to the child, and this may significantly impact the guidelines and the calculations to establish how much should be paid.
Once a child is emancipated, meaning that they are 18, they have started or finished college, or they have graduated high school, then that person would not be entitled to child support. Even if they still live at home with the custodial parent and receiving financial support from them, the noncustodial parent has no obligation to pay support.
An Attorney Could Help you Seek Fair Permanent Support Orders
In the wake of a divorce, you may be unsure of how to proceed or the implications of permanent child support orders in New Jersey. To learn more and to protect your rights through the court process, call an experienced attorney right away to schedule a consultation.