Child Support: Tax Planning

Every parent is obligated to financially support his or her children, providing such necessities as food, clothing, shelter, etc. Divorce doesn't cause this obligation to cease. When a divorce occurs, the noncustodial parent is usually ordered to pay some child support to the custodial parent; the rest of the child's expenses are paid by the custodial parent.

Child support may end at the child's 18th birthday, although some states set a cutoff at 21 years of age if the child is principally dependent on one parent (absent an agreement between the parties for a higher age). Also, some courts may order that child support continue until the child has graduated from college.

Tip: Some courts may also order child support to continue if the child has significant special needs.

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