Generally, the party seeking to emancipate the child has the initial burden of proof to show that emancipation has occurred. If that burden is met, the other party will have the burden to prove otherwise. In New Jersey, a child is not automatically emancipated by reaching a certain age. The court will look at the surrounding circumstances to determine whether the child has moved beyond the sphere of influence of the parent. The court will consider if the parties have an agreement that states when a child is deemed emancipated and will also look to the most current case law in this area. It is best to consult with an experienced attorney prior to making this application. There are also related issues that should be addressed by the court at the same time (an example of this is getting back the overpaid child support resulting from retroactive emancipation). The payee is not automatically ordered to pay it back and the payer must request such relief from the court.