Your Child’s Future
Graduation is right around the corner. There is always so much to do that it can be hard to think about the future. If your child is graduating from high school this spring, you really do need to take a couple of minutes and consider you and your child’s financial future.
Most urgent is to resolve any post-secondary education issues. Who will pay how much for the child’s college or trade school? In almost all cases, you have a very clear deadline for when you have to exercise your right to resolve this issue. Usually, the deadline is the child turning 18 or graduating from high school, which ever occurs last. If your child is now 18 and will graduate this June, your are almost out of time to take steps to preserve your right to ask a court to order the other parent to contribute to the child’s post-secondary support. The day after graduation is too late!
Going hand in hand with the deadline for post-secondary support is the reality that a court will take some time, usually at least four months, to make a decision. If your child plans on starting school in September, filing for post-secondary support needs to happen very soon.
Finally, I have seen many cases where promises were made regarding post-secondary support, and then those promises were broken. To make any commitment for post-secondary support binding, it needs to be in an order signed by the court.
A further concern is if there are other younger children. The Order of Child Support will no longer apply to the oldest child, and the total amount of child support will decrease. Unfortunately, the new lower payment amount is usually not accurate. The way child support is calculated in this state, the amount per child is less the more children you have. A modification of child support at this time will ensure that the correct transfer payment is ordered, and this can be done at the same time post-secondary support is sought.
If you have a graduation coming up – Congratulations! Enjoy this time in your child’s life. With all the celebrating, don’t forget the immediate future. Failure to take action now can have a very negative financial effect on both you and your child.