Articles Posted in Budgeting for the Family

Once a new year starts, I see a lot of articles focusing on how to give yourself a fresh start financially, and have a generally fiscally responsible year. Some pieces take the approach of the best ways to pay down your debt, while others focus on the best way to invest your money. I recently saw an article in which a couple describes their own debt nightmare, and then goes into the details of how they paid off that debt. While being able to pay off a large amount of debt in a little amount of time is definitely impressive, what actually caught my interest in the piece was the underlying cause of the debt.
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I’ve written a few pieces on divorce and always tried to point out how the divorce process can be different for every couple, depending on their specific circumstances. With the amount of military families in America, it is also important to consider certain differences and issues that a military divorce may present.
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brotherhood-at-sunset-1-1361205-m.jpgWhen people discuss child support, it is often through assumptions and generalizations about how it works, who pays, and how much is paid. However, each state has unique laws dealing with child support, and it is important to know how your state works if the time comes for child support to be addressed. New York passed the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) which outlines and charts the guidelines for child support payments. There is a chart released every year which takes into account the poverty line (as reported by the US Department of Health and Human Services) and allows individuals to calculate the approximate annual child support obligation. There is an option to deviate from the CSSA if using the guidelines would produce an unfair result or the parents agree that an alternative method of child support would be more beneficial to the family.

With all this in mind about the support calculations, the issue then turns to the actual child support payments. Just like people tend to assume sweeping generalities when it comes to how child support is calculated, there are also assumptions about how child support is paid out. Many people focus on the more invasive options like income withholding or liens on bank accounts. However, a recent trend involves the divorced couple setting up a joint bank account for purpose of support payments.

In some cases, parents elect to establish a joint bank account to address the children’s needs. Parents can make an agreement that specifies in detail how the account is to be funded and utilized. The account is then limited by those specifications agreed upon by the parties and memorialized in the agreement solely for the children’s needs. There can also be a joint bank account in addition to traditional child support, for specific purposes depending on the children’s needs. An important thing to remember is that any type of agreement for a joint bank account will be specific and unique to the parents and their situation. The parents can tailor the agreement and type of account so that it works best for them and the children’s needs.
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