When divorcing in Georgia, spouses may opt for joint legal custody of their children. You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may then share equal time in parenting your kids and decision-making.
The Peach State’s laws, however, may require support from the spouse earning more income even with shared custody. As noted by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, joint custody plans may include a method for resolving issues of unexpected child-rearing costs.
Court-ordered support plans
Divorce decrees generally focus on court-ordered child support payment plans. The financial arrangements, however, typically reflect each spouse’s income and earnings at the time the marriage ended.
A judge may set an amount based on each spouse’s current income at the time of the divorce. The amount may not change without a court-ordered modification. If your child needs more money in the future, you may need to request a change to your monthly financial support through the court.
Regular check-ins with your ex
To avoid surprises, spouses may regularly update each other on their economic circumstances. Temporary hardships may bring about changes to your shared custody schedule that offer benefits such as claiming children on a tax return.
The IRS, for example, allows one custodial parent to claim a child deduction for a tax year, which may increase a refund. For tax purposes, the definition of “custodial parent” means that the child lived with one parent longer than the other throughout the year.
A divorce decree may include financial support based on your current circumstances. You may request a modification, and if a judge approves, you may see an increase or a decrease in payments. With a joint custody agreement, however, you may discuss and negotiate additional expenses with your ex-spouse as your family requires them.