Guest Author - Caroline Henrich
Child support payments always end. The end date is usually determined by court orders, settlement agreements and/or state statutes. Two of the most common reasons are graduation from high school or college or one parent who is receiving child support looses custody.
The focus of this article however is the instance when a child graduates and child support payments end. Child support is intended to be used for the financial support and benefit of the child, including the payment of food and utilities.
The loss of child support may have a large impact on your life, especially if you are a single parent. It is therefore necessary to prepare well in advance of the cessation of child support. One suggestion is to make a budget of all your costs while you are financially supporting the child in one row and all of the costs you will have when you are no longer receiving child support. It is also important to calculate your revenue when it includes child support and when it does not. The result may surprise you, but knowing the realities will permit you to be proactive.
It may also be the case that you will still have expenses for your child even after the child support ends. This must also be taken into consideration. There are two typical realities; either cut your costs or increase your revenue.
Cutting costs should be a family decision as it will impact everyone. You may have to explain to the rest of the family why you may not be eating at restaurants as often or the reason your child cannot buy something " all of their friends have".
There are of course often circumstances that are even harder. This involves situations where there is not enough money for food or basic needs. Please conduct research regarding sources of financial support from the state.
The other option is make more money. This is easier said than done in this horrible economy. A second job can be very helpful if you can find one. If the child has graduated from high school and is going to college, he or she should be encouraged to look for a summer job. Perhaps a relative can also assist with either short term or long term loans or gifts ( remember there are tax consequences if gifts are valued over the permitted amounts).
This is clearly not an enjoyable exercise. However, preparation can reduce the stress and hopefully make this transition easier,