Child Support

Unemancipated Child Attending College

In the New Jersey Family Law case of Gartenberg v. Gartenberg, App. Div. 20-2-1516 the Defendant appealed from an order denying his application to reduce child support based on his youngest child residing away from plaintiff’s home at college. Defendant argued that the motion judge erred in reading the Property Settlement Agreement (PSA) to preclude a reduction in child support due only to the change in circumstances of his youngest child. Absent the parties’ agreement to the contrary, attendance at college away from home is considered a change of circumstances calling for the recalculation of child support. However, here the parties clearly agreed on what would constitute a change of circumstances. The parents decided that child support would continue until their last unemancipated child graduated from college or was otherwise emancipated, as long as defendant did not lose his job. The appellate panel affirmed, agreeing with Judge Tassini’s conclusion that the PSA removes this case from the general provisions controlling modification of child support.

Reference: New Jersey Law Journal (October 14, 2013) Unpublished Opinions

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