Dole v. Dole

In New Jersey there is a presumption that a child is emancipated, and no longer entitled to child support upon reaching age 18. Most divorce agreements or judgments set forth specific circumstances under which that presumption may be rebutted. It is common to provide that a child who is continuing their education beyond the age of 18, for example, shall not be deemed to be emancipated.

In the recent Appellate division decision in Dole v. Dole the parties had agreed that the child would not be considered emancipated until she was 23 without providing that she ed in an educational program. The child was post 18, not enrolled in an educational program and not working.

The Appellate Division ruled that the father was required to continue paying child support until the child reached age 23 per the terms of the parties agreement.

The Court reasoned that it was against public policy for the parties to agree to emancipation age of less than 18, but were free to contract to a later age.

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