For many newly single parents living through the aftermath of a divorce, child support can be an ongoing source of budgetary stress and personal frustration. Especially as your children get older and can potentially decline on their own to spend time with you, you may resent the obligation to contribute a substantial portion of your income for their upkeep.

If your kids are in high school and you find yourself hopeful about the end of your child support obligation, a discussion with your ex about their expectation that you will continue paying support through college might leave you feeling surprised and possibly angry. Can your ex compel you to continue paying child support during college?

New Jersey allows parents of college-bound kids to request extensions

For most families in New Jersey, child support payments end either when the child turns 19, enters the military service or graduates high school. However, children who go directly from high school to college typically remain financially dependent on their parents, which may justify the parent with primary custody seeking an extension or continuation of child support throughout college.

If the courts approve the request, you may wind up paying child support for as long as they remain enrolled full time. That could amount to four or even five more years of support payments after your child is a legal adult.  Instead of resenting the obligation to continue paying support for several additional years, you may want to view college child support is a positive thing. After all, you are helping set your child up for future success and independence.