As the number of resources available to the public on the Internet increases, more adults attempt to handle their own divorces, custody agreements, and child support arrangements. Money conscious consumers are interested in saving money by taking advantage of inexpensive do it yourself divorce options. Though there are financial benefits to completing a contested divorce with a spouse who is willing to compromise, even the best-intentioned adult runs the risk of falling victim to repercussions caused by commonly overlooked issues in child support and custody agreements.
Stopping Child Support at Age 18 or Graduation
Child support is the amount of money a non-custodial parent pays to help the custodial parent cover expenses related to the care of their mutual children. The amount is paid during the minority of the child and most expect child support to end at the age of 18. Unfortunately, some parents fail to take early birthdays or graduation delays into account when creating an agreement. It is not unusual for a child to turn 18 at the very beginning of their senior year, or to be held back one year leading to them graduating after they have turned 19. If child support is ended prior to the child graduating the custodial parent could find themselves paying for expensive field trips, sports equipment, and other expenses that child support previously helped cover.
Additional Care Needed by Children with Medical Conditions
Over the years the cost of medical treatment has increased and insurance companies do not always cover all the treatment related expenses. When medical treatment must be paid out of pocket by a divorced or separated couple things can get complicated. Unless a custody agreement specifies that both parents share certain costs one adult could find themselves responsible for a growing pile of medical bills. It is important that both parents consider the possibility of a child needing additional care outside of wellness checks or annual physicals and plan accordingly.
Who Receives Child Related Tax Credits
Adults with children can receive certain tax breaks dependent upon their annual income. However, these tax credits are usually determined by whom the child lives with most of the year. In situations in which a child spends an equal amount of time with each parent, both parties may be unsure which one of them is entitled to claim dependent related tax credits. A custody agreement should address taxes and which parent is able to claim the dependent permanently or during alternate years.
When to Seek Advice
Filing for a divorce without an attorney is seen as a way for a couple to save money, but even with resources available online and in the courthouse, it is easy for a person inexperienced with divorce to overlook vital issues. Modifying child support agreements and changing established custody agreements can be time consuming and costly. Consulting with a qualified divorce attorney is the best way to protect yourself and avoid costly mistakes. The attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum understand what it is like to deal with an ex-spouse who refuses respect post-divorce boundaries. Contact us today and schedule a consultation at one of our four offices conveniently located in the Atlanta metro area so that we can help you with your unique situation.