A custodial parent in a yellow jacket and red beanie hugs her two young children, one in a white beanie and the other in a grey beanie, in a forest setting.

Do I Need to Pay Child Support Even if I Was Never Married in NJ?

Oftentimes, when parents are unmarried and have a child, at least one of the parents will wonder whether he or she has to pay child support, despite the fact that they were never married. This is a fair question, though the answer is relatively simple. Please continue reading and speak with our New Jersey family law attorneys to learn more about how child support works in New Jersey. Here are some of the questions you may have:

Do you have to be married to pay child support?

Here in New Jersey, courts will consider a wide array of factors when determining your child support agreement, though their main concern will always be the well-being of your child. As such, whether you were married to your child’s other parent is entirely irrelevant; if you are the biological father or mother of a child and you are no longer with that child’s other parent, you are legally obligated to pay child support. That being said, there are additional factors that NJ courts will consider when determining child support agreements, including both parents’ yearly income, both parents’ age and health, both parents’ earning potential, whether the child has any special needs, your child custody agreement, whether the child plans on attending higher education or university, and more. That being said, once again, to be clear, whether your child was born out-of-wedlock will not play into whether you will owe child support. Both parents have the duty to support their child to the best of their ability, both financially and otherwise.

When can I stop paying child support in New Jersey?

There are various circumstances wherein a parent can either request early termination of child support or the extension of child support. For example, if your child has special needs, he or she may require support past the emancipation age of 18. Additionally, in many cases, if a child is looking to attend college, the custodial parent may request an extension of support as well. That being said, if your child reaches emancipation age, joins the military, becomes financially independent, or gets married, you may request early termination of your support agreement. These are just some of the circumstances that may warrant extensions or terminations of support agreements, so if you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to speak with our experienced New Jersey family law attorneys today. We are here to help.

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

If you require strong legal representation for matters related to divorce or family law, Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn is here to help. We proudly represent clients in Morris County and throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.

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