Is it Time for a Child Support Check-Up?

            The beginning of the year is a great time to review the requirements of child support orders.  Child support includes not just payment of a support amount each month by one parent to the other.  Other support includes sharing of uncovered medical and extracurricular activity expenses, health insurance coverage, tax dependency exemptions, college costs and other expenses.

            At this time of year, review your judgment and consider the following:

  • Make sure if you are planning to claim a child or children as a dependent on your tax returns, that you are claiming the correct child and that you are entitled to claim the child or children;

     

  • If you have a child in college under age 21 and are receiving support, make sure that the child provides his/her grades from the fall semester and the upcoming semester’s class schedule to the parent paying support; if you are paying support, make sure that you receive this information;

     

  • If your health insurance for the child changed, make sure you provide a copy of the health insurance card to the other parent;

     

  • If you have a child that will be starting college in the next few years and you and the other parent do not have an agreement about paying for those college expenses (tuition, room and board, books, etc.), speak with an attorney about the process to modify your judgment to share those expenses with the other parent;

     

  • Did you have a change in employment recently?  Did the other parent?  It may be time to review the child support amount you are paying or receiving;

     

  • If your judgment includes that you and the other parent are to share expenses such as for uncovered medical, extracurricular activities, etc., have you provided receipts or other proof of payment to the other parent?  If so, has he or she reimbursed you?  If you received a request for reimbursement from the other parent, have you paid it?  Keep in mind any deadlines in your judgment for providing proof of payment and for reimbursement.