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Is There Anything in Particular I Should Address in My Divorce Settlement If We Share a Child?

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When it comes to divorcing parents, there are a number of potential arrangements and costs that may need to be addressed in marital settlement agreements precisely because state law does not address these issues outright in the same way that it does other assets, issues, and expenses, such as alimony or child support. This is especially important if one parent is the custodial or primary parent and will therefore likely end up with not only more time with the child, but also covering more childcare-related costs, such as those related to education.  Below, we discuss some of these potential topics that your settlement should specifically address if these circumstances apply to you:

Adjustments to The Right of First Refusal

While the right of first refusal is a common provision in parenting plans here in Florida, which dictates that if one parent needs daycare for one reason or another, the other parent gets first priority in terms of being able to spend additional time with the child, you may also want to add in any other circumstances that could also trigger this provision, such as your ex having to go out of town at the last minute, etc.

College Prep

More and more students are taking prep classes in order to score well on tests such as the SAT so that they can get into college, and these classes can cost thousands of dollars. In addition, each college application fee is at least $50–depending on how many schools your child applies to (and/or how many children you share with your ex), these fees can add up. 

College Tuition & Related Costs

The average price of college tuition and fees in 2019-2020 came to almost $37,000 per year for private schools, $27,000 per year for out-of-state students at public schools, and more than $10,000 per year for in-state residents at public colleges. Florida, like a number of other states, does not require that divorcing parents be forced to pay for college if it is not addressed in their settlement or another contract. As a result, this is definitely something that should be addressed in your marital settlement. Note that judges likely will not enforce an obligation to pay for a private school, but you should obtain language covering the cost of four years at an in-state public school.

All of the books and other costs associated with college (books, cellphone, meals, travel, medical expenses, etc.) also add up, so you want to make sure that language providing for how you will split these expenses is also provided in the settlement agreement. You may also want to speak with your attorney about adding a provision to address any unexpected costs that come up during this time as well, for example, such as a study abroad program.

Tax Repercussions of Investment Accounts

Remember that splitting up different types of investment accounts (for example, a Roth versus traditional IRA) yields wildly different results in terms of tax consequences. Therefore, make sure that you work with someone who helps you understand the cost basis of what you are receiving when it comes to investment accounts so that you know the capital gains tax rate and what you will owe taxes on.

If You Have Any Questions Concerns About Your Marital Settlement Agreement & Child Expenses, Contact Our Experienced Florida Divorce & Family Law Attorneys

If you have any questions or concerns about marital settlements and ensuring that they address your specific circumstances in your divorce, contact the Arwani Law Firm today. Our Orlando divorce attorneys are well-versed in ensuring that settlement agreements address every possible scenario you might encounter so that you can move forward protected.

Resource:

collegedata.com/en/pay-your-way/college-sticker-shock/how-much-does-college-cost/whats-the-price-tag-for-a-college-education/#:~:text=Average%20College%20Tuition%20and%20Fees&text=In%202019%2D2020%2C%20the%20average,out%2Dof%2Dstate%20residents)

seattletimes.com/business/crucial-extra-items-to-cover-in-a-divorce-settlement/

https://www.arwanilawfirm.com/if-im-going-through-a-divorce-do-i-have-a-right-to-the-family-home-if-my-spouse-is-the-only-one-listed-on-the-mortgage/

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