When California residents are thinking about ending their marriage, one of the first things they should do is see a financial adviser. Such a professional may help them to understand the whole picture of their finances so that they don't end up making costly mistakes after they file for and get a divorce.
California parents who pay child support cannot automatically claim those children as dependents on their federal income tax returns, and they are not allowed to deduct those payments. The dependent child exemption is based on custody and not on how much financial support is offered.
When people decide to get divorced, they often think that the first, and for many the only, thing they need to do is hire a lawyer to represent them. And while a lawyer can definitely help to guide divorcing spouses, California residents should also take note that learning about their financial situation, and hiring a financial adviser, if needed, might be just as important when beginning the divorce process.
California parents who are involved in a custody battle should keep a few points in mind in order to increase their chances of prevailing if it spills over into a courtroom. One is that they should not try to represent themselves even though it may seem as though this will be a less expensive option. The problem is that a layperson is not familiar with legal terminology or procedure and may also be too driven by emotions.
Many California parents understand that raising their children can be an expensive endeavor, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimating that the cost for a single child can be nearly $250,000 from birth to adulthood. The expenses can be especially difficult to afford for single parents. As a result, many non-custodial parents are ordered to pay child support as part of a divorce order.