In New Jersey, you normally have to pay child support until your children reach the statutory age of maturity. In some cases, terminating your parental rights can result in no longer having to pay child support. If you terminate your parental rights, the court will determine whether or not it is in the best interests of the child to have you continue to pay child support. New Jersey has three different situations that may result in a termination of parental rights and child support.
Give your consent to a stepparent adoption. If you are the noncustodial parent and the custodial parent is married to a person over 18 who is financially able to support the child, the stepparent can adopt the child. You can consent to the adoption, which terminates your parental rights. You will need to fill out paperwork provided by the stepparent's attorney. The stepparent will agree to assume financial support for the child. The court will then ordinarily agree that it is in the best interests of the child that you no longer pay child support.
Consent to give up your rights as part of a court proceeding involving the Division of Youth and Family Services. If the state has filed proceedings against you for neglect or abuse of your child, you can in some cases voluntarily give up your parental rights. If you do, the court may agree that it is not in the best interests of the child for you to pay child support. However, someone else will usually have to agree to support the child, such as adoptive parents.
Give up your rights involuntarily as part of court proceedings. If you do not participate in the state's neglect or abuse case against you or fail to follow the court's recommendations for the care of your child, the court can sever your parental rights. In other words, if you give up the case and refuse to cooperate, you can in essence give up your rights. You can then ask the court to terminate your child support obligation. The court may agree. However, courts generally do not terminate child support obligations if it would make the state financially responsible for the child.