Divorce Agreement Interpretation


#1

My daughter turns 18 in April of this year. According to my divorce agreement my ex is to pay child support until one of the following:
"1) Completion of the child’s high school education, but not beyond the age of twenty (20) years

  1. Attaining the age of 18 years if such child has completed his high school education"

The first condition doesn’t apply since she will finish high school in June of this year. My question is on the second condition, is it saying the support will stop when she turns 18 in April or when she completes high school in June. My interpretation is when she finishes in June because in April she is 18 but has not completed her high school education.

Another question - our agreement says:
“The Defendant shall have a right to the tax exemption to the minor child every other year beginning with the year 2005.”

My question here is since she will be 18, does that no longer qualify her as a minor (as stated in the above statement) and does that mean he can no longer claim her on his taxes? She is getting ready to attend college and in order lower her tuition and to deduct her college costs I will need to claim her. She lives with me and will be living at home while attending college.

Thanks for your help.


#2

not an attorney

On the child support, I believe that the first situation is the one that does apply because your child will still be in high school when she turns 18, so child support should continue until she is graduated from high school. The 2nd condition would only apply if she is graduated at age 17 and then turns 18…in that case, child support would continue after graduation, until she turns 18.

On the second issue, I would think that since the papers say that he can claim the MINOR child, then once she is 18, he can no longer claim her on his taxes after that point (unless she were to move in with him and he was paying over 50% of her living expenses)…so I would think that you would be able to claim her from that point, as long as she is living at home and you are paying her expenses. Of course, if this is his year to claim her on his taxes, he could still do that if he files before she turns 18, since she is still a minor.

again, not an attorney


#3

Based on what you posted, child support should be paid until she graduates high school unless she reaches 20 years old first.

The alternation of tax benefit is likely to stop this year because she will no longer be a minor. You should consult with a tax professional with regard to who is eligible to claim her during college.