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A Step by Step Guide to Consider When Deciding on Child Support

Finding the right child support agreement is challenging. At Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell, we often find that clients aren’t even sure what should be included. They don’t know when child support should change, when it should stop, and what it should be based on. The good news is that you don’t need to know any of this – that’s our job. That said, read on to learn more about the details of child support settlements.

The four main things that should be in a child support agreement

First and foremost, your child support agreement needs to include the amount of child support. This can be decided on between you and the child’s other parent, or it can be litigated by the courts. Next, you need to decide on the date payments are to be made. Third, you need language that discusses cost of living adjustments, how often they’ll be given, and what they’ll be based on. Finally, the agreement should what will happen when your child (or children) are emancipated. Will it be reduced or ended?

What does emancipation mean?

Many people think of emancipation as a child suing their parent to be able to make their own decisions. This is just one example of emancipation. Your child support agreement should state what you consider emancipation. Is it when the child gets to a certain age? What age – 18, 21, 25? Is it when the child graduates college? When they get married? When they move out? Or when they get their first full-time job? These are all things that should be considered.

Who covers extra expenses?

Kids are expensive. No matter what age they are, there are likely to be extras. It’s best to have your child support agreement clearly lay out who’s responsible for these extra expenses. For example, if your child is attending private school, who will pay for that? Who’s going to pay for college? What about child care costs? If your child goes to summer camp or is involved in extracurricular activities, who pays for them?

Who will pay their medical bills?

Next, it’s time to consider who’s going to handle the medical bills. Yes, this includes insurance coverage but it includes a lot more than that too. For example, who’s going to file claims and get reimbursement if necessary? Who will pay for the expenses that aren’t covered by an insurance policy? Who will have the legal right to make decisions on any elective procedures, such as braces? Then remember that there are other potential medical costs like therapy, dental insurance, glasses, etc.

Will alimony be paid?

Finally, remember that there are other issues besides those that directly affect the child. Will alimony be paid? How much? Will there be a cost of living adjustment and how often? When will alimony payments be made? And for how long?

There many things to work through when you’re trying to find the right answer to child support questions. The best option is to have a family law attorney on your side. Contact Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell at (909) 920-0908 to begin.


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