Child Can Seek Emancipation Over Objection of Parents
- January 26, 2013
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In the event a child is no longer within the “sphere of parental influence” they may be emancipated. In most cases, it is one or both parents seeking to terminate support or avoid the cost of the child’s college tuition. The New Jersey Superior Court heard a case of first impression in the matter of Ort v. Ort when a child sought emancipation. Typically, under the laws of the State of New Jersey a child is not considered emancipated if the child is still enrolled in school, including post-secondary education, on a full-time basis. Parents of a very mature young lady had divorced years earlier but continued a lengthy post-judgment battle regarding child support and other issues. Rather than have her educational opportunities limited by her father’s interest in keeping his responsibility for her college tuition to a minimum, the child arranged her own college funding through education grants and tuition assistance programs which she could obtain on her own. The judge hearing the matter found no evidence of immaturity, incompetence, disability, delinquency, truancy, disorder or other negative behaviors which would give reason for concern regarding her decision making ability. The judge also reasoned that, at 18, a child becomes an adult for the purposes of voting, marrying without parental consent, enlisting in the military, enrolling in the pension system and purchasing firearms. Typically, a parent retains control over a child seeking the continued support of a parent. However, if a child is self-supporting while still enrolled in school full-time, there is no reason for a parent to retain control over the child. If you are seeking or fighting the emancipation of a child, you should consult an experienced family law attorney immediately in order to protect your rights. For more information on child support, custody, parenting time/visitation, adoption, dissolution of a civil union, marriage or domestic partnership, modifications, alimony, palimony or other family or juvenile law matters in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney regarding your specific matter.