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When Is a Child Emancipated?

Most Property Settlement Agreements entered into between divorcing parties deal with the issue of emancipation of a child, which is the cut off date for a parent’s child support obligation. Intertwined with this issue is college or secondary education and each parent’s responsibility toward this obligation.
 
In New Jersey, there is no set age for emancipation. Many people seem to think that a child is emancipated when he/she reaches the age of majority which is 18, but in most cases this is not true. The Superior Court of New Jersey has stated that “When a child moves beyond the sphere of influence and responsibility exercised by a parent and obtains an independent status on his or her own, generally he or she will be deemed emancipated.”
 
Since the issue of whether a child is emancipated is fact sensitive, it is essential that your Property Settlement Agreement have a definition of emancipation so there is no question when child support obligations stop.