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Supporting children goes beyond child support

When parents decide to divorce from each other, it doesn't mean that either of them has divorced from the children. Many California residents will be familiar with the issues that can accompany discussions of a financial nature. When it comes to child support, it can be difficult to cover every possible eventuality. Sometimes, a shift in perspective can help to smooth the process.

A parent who has already agreed to pay a specific amount in child support payments may suddenly find that he or she is being asked to contribute an additional amount. A child may have developed an interest in something for which lessons are required, such as music; in addition, there may be a requirement to provide an instrument, sheet music and other items. The costs may be such that the custodial parent is unable to finance this new activity on his or her own and may turn to the other parent for help.

For something that is relatively inexpensive, this may not cause too much of an issue, especially if the parents are on amicable terms. At a later stage, however, the request for additional money may be for something that was not anticipated at an earlier stage, such as college fees. There are a number of options that parents and their children can pursue in order to finance further education. However, if it is something that wasn't anticipated, then it may lead to the discovery that each parent has a different view of what those options are.

It is easier for everyone, if possible, to agree on additional expenses between the parents, but there are a number of reasons why this may not be possible. California residents who are either paying – or in receipt of – a court-ordered amount of child support are entitled to apply to the court to have the amount revised. This may be because the amount is too much for the payer to afford or because the payee requires a higher income level to cover necessary expenses. Keeping the lines of communication open and amicable will allow both parties to know where they stand and to move forward more positively in the best interest of the child.

Source: Brentwood, CA. Patch, "Parenting and Child-Related Money Issues After Divorce", Sep. 7, 2016

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