Child Support Agreements Need to Be Detailed, Says Divorce Attorney with McDevitt Law Office

Law Firm Newswire



Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) October 23, 2013 – Child support agreements should be very detailed, said a prominent Virginia divorce attorney.

In order to obtain a divorce in Virginia, all issues between the parties must be resolved, and that is often done by agreement between the divorcing spouses. However, if the agreement is not detailed enough, then the parties may find themselves at odds later on, and this is particularly true when it comes to child support.

“Divorcing spouses need to think about details such as who will pay for children’s extra-curricular activities, college costs, and medical costs, as well as what will happen when one of two or more children turns 18,” said Lisa McDevitt, an attorney with McDevitt Law Office in Vienna, Virginia.

Child support continues until there is a new order from the court. In the absence of an agreement to the contrary, the payor spouse may reduce child support payments by half when one of two children turns 18. If this is not the intended outcome, then the parties should agree ahead of time on a system for recalculating payments.

Extra-curricular activities are another common source of disputes and even litigation when child support agreements are not detailed enough, because the payee spouse may enroll a child in an expensive extra-curricular activity and expect reimbursement from the payor spouse. The parties should come to an agreement at the time of their divorce regarding such future expenses, said McDevitt.

Another issue that is often overlooked is who will pay for medical expenses that are not covered by insurance. If a payor spouse is responsible for out-of-network costs, then language should be included in the agreement that addresses a situation in which the payee spouse wishes to use a specialist not covered by insurance.

McDevitt also said that if divorcing spouses with children include language in their agreement about college costs, then they should include a method for deciding how much should be contributed, to avoid acrimonious disputes about decisions between which schools the children should attend.

When crafting a child support agreement, both spouses will benefit from considering various situations that may arise in the future and paying careful attention to detail.

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