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McCurrie McCurrie
& McCurrie, L.L.C.

680 Kearny Avenue
Kearny, NJ 07032-3010
Phone: (201) 467-4180
Fax: (201) 997-9567
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Child support can last through college

During a divorce, many questions arise. How will the assets be divided? What kind of alimony will I have to pay? How much will child support cost me and how long will it last? Some find that this last question is the most important and, depending on the state that the couple divorces in, the answer can change depending on the differing family law statutes.

In New Jersey, the obligation of child support is often determined during a case settlement. In such a settlement, divorcing spouses come together with their respective attorneys and attempt to draft an agreement. In this agreement, child support -- both the amount and the length of time it will be paid -- can be determined. If the couple fails to come to an agreement, the determination may come from a judge overseeing the case.

The aforementioned agreements are known as matrimonial settlement agreements or property settlement agreements. If you are unsure of the agreed-upon parameters of your child support, reexamine this document. Without an agreement or decision made by a court, child support often continues until a child is considered to be outside the influence of the parents. This may mean that support will last until the child gets married or becomes a full-time member of the military. It can also end when the child turns 18, the legal age of adulthood.

If that child decides to receive a post-secondary education, support payments may still be necessary. They can be modified during this time, but in the state of New Jersey, it is likely that the court will decide that support is still necessary while the child is receiving an undergraduate education.

If your child is considering the possibility of a post-secondary education, be sure to discuss it with your former spouse to better understand the situation. It may require some legal attention, especially since there is the potential for an elongation of support, which will cost the noncustodial parent more money over time.

Source: Haddonfield Patch, "Ask The Lawyer: Child Support Payments," April 28, 2012

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