Just because your kids have turned 18, or graduated college, or even moved out, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are independent adults who can support themselves emotionally or financially.  As everyone knows, age doesn’t always equal maturity, and sometimes kids take a long time to become grown-ups.  So how does this impact on you if you are getting divorced?  How do you factor the financial needs of your adult children into your plans with your ex?

In New Jersey, parents are generally financially responsible for their children until they graduate from college.  But what if your kids continue their schooling and/or cannot find a job after college?  Or what if college is not in their immediate plans?  While the parents may not have a legal obligation to their adult children, they often have an emotional one.  In certain cases, they may want to set up a trust or an account to which both parents contribute for the child’s financial support.  In other cases, parents agree to pay for some of their children’s expenses, like rent, and ask the children to contribute their own income to pay for the rest.  In addition, under the new health care law, parents can cover their children on their own health insurance plans until they are twenty-six years old.  Therefore, the parents may need to craft an agreement for sharing these costs as well.

At Westfield Mediation, LLC, we work with divorcing couples of all ages to reach a fair and equitable agreement on parenting and financial issues.  We are sensitive to the needs of parents with adult children, and we help them create a framework that works for their family’s particular needs.  Because mediation allows couples to work together on their post-divorce arrangements, the parties are more likely to devise a solution that makes sense for them, and thus, they are more likely to follow the agreement.  Even for divorced parents, being a parent is a life-long job.  Divorce mediation makes it that much easier.

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For more information about divorce mediation contact Randi M. Albert, JD, or Michelle Weinberg, LMFT, at Westfield Mediation, LLC, at 908.913.0373.  View our website at www.westfieldnjmediation.com or email us at info@westfieldnjmediation.com.