Termination FAQs



Termination Law Basics

Q. What does this new termination of child support law do?
A. The new termination law establishes that child support ends automatically on the day that the child marries, dies, enters military service or turns 19 years old.

Q. What is the effective date of this law?
A. The effective date of the law is February 1, 2017, and the law will apply to all New Jersey child support orders issued before, on, or after that effective date. the first "Notices of Proposed Child Support Obligation Termination" and "Notices of Child Support Obligation" will be mailed to parents on February 1, 2017.

Q. Can child support be continued beyond the child's 19th birthday?
A. Yes, if a different age is specified in a court order or the custodial parents submits a "Request for Continuation of Support" form with supporting documentation as proof that the child is either:
  1. Still enrolled in high school or other secondary-educational program;
  2. Still enrolled full time in colege or other post-secondary education program; or
  3. Has a physical or mental disability, as determined by a federal or state governmental agency that existed prior to the child reaching the age of 19 and requires continued support.
Q. Can a child support obligation be exempt from automatic termination upon the child's 19th birthday?
A. Yes. A court order that specifies a different age of termination exempts that support obligation from automatically ending. Child support cannot extend beyond the date the child reaches age 23. Parents may still receive a "Notice of Proposed Child Support Obligation Termination" even if they have such an order. If this occurs, either parents must return the "Request for Continuation of Support" form with a copy of the court order that includes the termination date. Upon receiving the form and the order, the assigned Probation Unit will update the case record to reflect the termination date in the court order (as long as it is before the child's 23rd birthday).

Also, child support shall be exempt from automatic termination if the child is still receiving support in an out-of-home placement through the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P) in the Department of Children and Families (DCF) past the age of 19. Child support will end upon notification by DCP&P that the child is no longer in placement or the child's 23rd birthday, whichever occurs first.

Q. Will I be notified prior to the termination of child support?
A. Yes. For support orders that are being supervised by the Probation Division of the Superior Court, both the custodial and non-custodial parent will receive a "Notice of Proposed Child Support Obligation Termination" 180 days before the child support obligation termination date. If no response is received, a "Second Notice of Proposed Child Support Obligation Termination" will be sent out 90 days before the child support obligation termination date. If the child on the case is already over the age of 23 or approaching his/her 23rd birthday or other court-ordered termination date, both parents will receive a "Notice of Child Support Obligation Termination" 90 days prior to the obligation termination date. Please make sure that the Child Support Program has your current mailing address on file so that termination notices are sent to the correct address.

Q. If a custodial parent requests a continuation of child support beyond the child's 19th birthday, must he or she provide a new proposed termination date?
A. Yes; all "Request for Continuation of Support" forms must contain a future date in which child support would end and it must be before the child's 23rd birthday. The proposed end date must be supported by any documentation provided. For example, if the request for continuation is based on the child remaining a high school student, the proposed future termination date should be the child's expected high school graduation date.

Q. Can child support be continued beyond the child's 23rd birthday?
A. No; "child support" cannot continue past the child's 23rd birthday. The parent or the child may petition the court to convert the child support to another form of financial maintenance or financial support for a child that has reached the age of 23. This order, should it be granted, would not be considered "child support," and is not enforceable or monitored through a Probation Unit.

Q. What does "financial maintenance" mean?
A. Financial maintenance means court-ordered support that is outside of the child support program and therefore not enforceable by the Probation Child Support Enforcement Unit (PCSE). The court may still order a parent to pay toward the cost of raising and/or supporting a dependent past his/her 23rd birthday. For example, the court may order one parent to pay toward the cost of the child's college tuition or medical expenses.

Q. Does the obligation to provide medical support and/or medical coverage also end when the child support obligation is terminated?
A. Yes; all court-ordered obligations to pay or provide medical coverage will end when the child support ends. However, custodial parents may file a motion or application to request medical be enforced until the child's 23rd birthday. If not court ordered, either parent may voluntarily provide medical coverage for their child through their employer up until the age of 26 according to federal law and up until 31 under New Jersey law if certain conditions are met.

Q. I have two children, one is under the age of 19 and one is over the age of 19. The older child is not eligible for a continuation of child support. Does this mean they will both be automatically terminated?
A. No; the termination of child support only will apply to the child that is over the age of 19, if there is no other termination date specified in the court order. The obligation to pay support for the younger child will continue.
 

Situations for which child support may continue after age 19

High school/college or other secondary/post-secondary education
Q. Will termination of child support be automatic or will one of the parties have to file with the court for termination? If it is automatic, what happens if the child is still a full-time student?
A. Termination is automatic upon the child's 19th birthday. If the child is a full-time student and under the age of 23, the custodial parent must submit the "Request for Continuation of Support" form, along with the necessary documentation and both parents will be notified whether the request for continuation of support was approved.

Q. If a child is 19, still in high school and does not plan on attending college after graduate, will child support be terminated?
A. No. If the custodial parents submits the "Request for Continuation of Support" with supporting documentation from the high school that the child is still a student then support should continue. The child's projected high school graduation date will then be determined as the date of termination.

Q. My child is 19 years old and currently in college or will be starting college. How can continuation be requested and what documentation is needed to support the request?
A. The custodial parent must send in the "Request for Continuation of Support" form that was mailed with the "Notice of Proposed Child Support Obligation Termination" along with proof from the college or other post-secondary institution that the depdendent is currently enrolled in what the institution considers full-time status.

Q. Can child support continue if my child takes a semester off from college?
A. It depends. If Probation is notified of the break in educational status, the situation will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and the decision will depend on the facts and documentation provided. If the Probation Department is unable to determine that the child will resume full-time college-student status, the custodial parent may need to file with the court to request that child support continue based on exceptional circumstances.

Situations for which child support may continue after age 19 - Disability
Q. If my child has a disability, can I request child support beyond their 19th birthday?
Yes; if you are a custodial parent with a child support case for a dependent with a disability, you may return the "Request for Continuation of Support" form that is attached to your "Notice of Proposed Child Support Obligation Termination" with supporting documentation from a government agency that provides services to individuals with disabilities. This documentation must confirm that the child has a physical, intellectual or developmental disability that existed prior to his/her reaching the age of 19 and requires continued support. Support through the child support program may only be continued until the dependent's 23rd birthday. However, the parent or the dependent may petition the court to convert the child support obligation to another form of financial maintenance or financial support beyond the age of 23.

Situations for which child support may continue after age 19 - Prior Court Order
Q. I have a Judgment of Divorce (JOD) that states the child support shall terminate upon the child's graduation from college. Will child support terminate when the child graduates college or the child's 19th birthday?
Child support will terminate upon graduation as specified in the court order as long as the dependent is under age 23. If the parties agree that support should continue, their agreement will be outside of the child support program.

Parents still may receive a "Notice of Proposed Child Support Obligation Termination" because the Judgment of Divorce specifies an event and not a specific age or date. If that is the case, the custodial or non-custodial parent must submit a copy of the order and proof of college enrollment with the anticipated graduation date so that it can be verified.
 

Continuation Request Process

Q. How long do I have to request a continuation of support?
The "Request for Continuation of Support" form and acceptable supporting documentation must be received no later than 45 days prior to the termination date in order to be considered. The due date will be specified in your notice. Any request form received past that due date will not be considered. At that point, the requesting party will have to file a petition with the court to request a continuation.

Q. What if I forget to send in the supporting documentation with my "Request for Continuation of Support," or I send in the wrong document?
As long as the correct documentation is received before the deadline indicated on the form, it will be accepted for review. In order for a request to be reviewed in a timely manner, please include a copy of the original "Request for Continuation of Support" when sending in the correct documentation. Another copy of this form can be requested from the online customer account or by calling 1-877-655-4371.

Q. What if I lose or never receive a "Request for Continuation of Support" form?
A copy of the "Notice of Proposed Child Support Obligation Termination" which includes the "Request for Continuation of Support" can be mailed to you by logging into your account on www.njchildsupport.org. You also  may request that the document be resent to you by calling 1-877-655-4371. Please make sure that the Child Support Program has your current mailing address on file. Addresses can be updated online.

Q. My child is now 23 years or age. I've received notice informing me that my child support will be terminated, what effective date will be used?
A. Any current case with a dependent age 23 or older will be sent a "Notice of Child Support Obligation Termination" on February 1, 2017. The termination date will be May 1, 2017, and not the child's 19th birthday, regardless of the dependent's actual age.

Q. My child is 21 years old and working full time. S/he is not a college student. What effective date will be used to terminate the child support obligation?
A. Any current case with a dependent between the ages of 19 and 23 will be sent "Notice of Proposed Child Support Obligation Termination" on February 1, 2017, with a termination date of August 1, 2017, not the child's 19th birthday. If no response is received to the first notice and a termination date has not been modified by a court order, a "Second Notice of Proposed Child Support Obligation Termination" will be sent on May 1, 2017. If support is not continued, the child support obligation will terminate on August 1, 2017.

Q. If I do not agree with the termination or continuation of support, what can I do?
A. If you do not agree with the "Determination of Request for Continuation of Support" finding, you may file a motion or application with the court in the county of venue, which is usually where the original order was issued.
 

What kinds of situations might occur after child support ends?

Q. What happens in cases with children over the age of 19 and the non-custodial parent still is paying child support?
A. Both parents will receive a child support termination notice. If there is no approved continuation for support, the child support obligation will automatically end on the termination date listed on the child support termination notice. If there are no other children on the order or outstanding arrears, any active Income Withholding Orders will end, as well, If health coverage was a provision of the child support order, the employer will also be notified that they no longer are under court order to provide medical coverage. Employees and employers should discuss whether coverage for the dependent will continue.

Q. If my child support is terminated for all my children and there are arrears (unpaid child support) on the case, will the case still remain open?
A. Yes. Even though the obligation for current support will end, the case will remain open until the arrears are paid off. The noncustodial parent is still responsible for paying the recurring child support amount that existed prior to termination PLUS the arrears payback amount unless a different amount is ordered by the court.

Example: The non-custodial parent pays $75 per week in current child support and $25 per week toward the arrears. After receiving the "Notice of Child Support Obligation Termination" for his only child, there are remaining unpaid arrears. He now owes $100 per week arrears payback until the arrears are satisfied, unless the court modifies that repayment amount.

Q. I am a non-custodial parent and have three children. Only the oldest one will be over the age of 19 when this law goes into effect. How much will the obligation be after the obligation for the oldest child is terminated?
A. It depends on whether your order is unallocated or allocated. An unallocated order means that there is one obligation amount paid for all the children. An allocated order has a specific support amount for each child. Most orders in New Jersey are unallocated. 

If you have an unallocated order with a remaining child(ren) after an obligation is terminated, you still are responsible for paying the total child support amount plus arrears, if applicable unless a different amount is ordered by the court. If you have an allocated order with a remaining child(ren) after termination, your support order will be adjusted automatically to deduct the amount of the terminated obligation.

Q. How can I tell if my child support order is unallocated or allocated?
Look at the body of your order or section #24 of the Uniform Summary Support Order (USSO). If you do not see any individual amounts in the order, then you most likely have an unallocated order. 

Q. If there is an income withholding active on my case, will the employer be notified of the support obligation termination?
Yes, Once an obligation terminates or the amount is adjusted an amended Income Withholding Order will be sent to the employer automatically.

Q. If medical coverage is provided through an employer for a dependent, will the employer be notified of that termination?
Yes. If providing health coverage was a provision of the child support order, the employer will be notified that it is no longer required to cover the children. However, the employee and employer should discuss whether health coverage for the dependents should continue.
 

Intergovernmental Cases

Q. Does the New Jersey age of child support termination affect my order that was established in another state?
A. No. The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) provides that child support ends according to the law of the State in which the order was established and cannot be changed by another state. This new law applies only to child support orders established by New Jersey.

Q. My child support order was established in New Jersey but I now live in a different state. I have an interstate case with my order registered in my home state. Where will my termination notices be mailed?
A. The "Notice of Proposed Child Support Obligation Termination" and subsequent notices will be mailed to the child support agency in the state in which the order is currently registered. The other state agency must then foward the notices to you at the address it has on file.