Most states have a legal limit for "emancipation" – the date when parents are no longer legally required to support their children. It can be based on an age or on an event like getting married, joining the military or graduating from college.
But, in reality, not all kids are magically able to support themselves once they hit that date. So how do you create a divorce agreement to cover the expenses for that time period when your kids age out of child support, but are still not financially self-sufficient?
At Westfield Mediation, LLC, we have many divorce mediation clients who continue to support their children in some way after the legal age of emancipation. Sometimes, the divorcing parents still pay for some bills – like those for cell phones, car insurance, health insurance. In other cases, the kids still live with one parent or the other, rent-free, so the parent is covering both housing and food.
In each of these scenarios, we help the divorcing parents come to an agreement about how to deal with these ongoing expenses. In some cases, we may divide the costs between the parties, or put limits on time frames or amounts. Our goal is to create a parenting plan that is fair to both sides and that is financially practical for the family.