Family Issues Fact Sheet


Emancipation is when a child reaches 18 years and/or becomes financially independent.

A child is not automatically emancipated at the age of 18. The courts determine emancipation on an individual basis. New Jersey has no fixed age or specific event when support automatically stops unless it is stated in the court order.

In some cases, support may continue beyond the age of 18 or high school graduation. To emancipate a child, one of the parents must ask the court to end or change the support order, or both parents can agree and sign a request for case closure.

The emancipation of a child does not automatically excuse the payment of arrears that have accumulated.


Custody and/or visitation may be granted in the support order. They have no bearing on the payment or receipt of child support. You must continue to pay the support as ordered even if you are having problems with custody and visitation.

If problems involving custody and/or visitation occur, they must be handled through your county's family case management office.

Custody and visitation arrangements should be made with the child's best interest in mind and mediation may help both parents work out problems that may occur.