Legal Question in Family Law in New Jersey

My stepdaughter was kicked out by her mom and stepdad 3 years ago and we took her in. Unfortunately my husband had no choice but to assume full financial responsibility for her with zero child support because the father-in-law of his ex-wife owns a law firm and we couldn't afford to keep battling them in court. We also wanted my stepdaughter released from the mom's custody so she could transfer to our local high school and not fall behind. At that time we already had full financial responsibility for my stepson who decided to move in with us and was eventually disowned by his mom. The three years we had my stepdaughter has been extremely difficult because she refuses to live by our rules and claims she never had to with her mom. Everytime she had a big fight with my husband she would go running back to mom then come back when she wasn't happy there anymore. Now she is 18 and has graduated from high school and is not attending college by her choice. My husband paid for her bartending school but she hasn't done anything with it and says maybe she'll go to college next year. Yesterday she had another big fight with my husband and ran back to mommy again. The mom and stepdad have already made it clear that mt husband still has full financial responsibility for her and the father-in-law will of course enforce that. My husband doesn't want my stepdaughter back anymore because he's fed up. However we feel helpless because of what he signed and we have no money to spend battling them in court. What can we do?

Asked on 9/17/13, 10:38 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Robert Gleaner Robert A. Gleaner, P.C.
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If she is over 18 and graduated from high school and not in college, she is deemed to be emancipated and the parents no longer have financial responsibility for her. If there is no existing child support order requiring your husband to pay any money to his ex, then there really is no issue. Just tell her she is not welcome in your house and keep her out. If there is an existing child support order requiring your husband to pay money to his ex, then you would need to go to court to get that changed.

Keep in mind that this advice is based purely on the little bit of information that you have given to me. There certainly may be other factors that would change my opinion. Further, no one can rely on advice from an attorney who has not been retained. You will only be able to rely on advice from an attorney who you have actually retained. Good luck! Rob Gleaner

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9/17/13, 10:45 am

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