The “typical family” is no longer typical
It’s sometimes amazing to consider how much the nature of the American family has changed over the last generation or two. The old pattern was remarkably uniform: Dad worked 9-to-5 outside the home, five days a week. Mom stayed at home and was responsible for maintaining the household and raising the children. The children attended classes through high school, and then left the family home (permanently!) to start their own families and careers. College was an option for a few kids from well-funded families, but it was still rare for the middle class.
Modern patterns of family live contrast with those bygone customs. It’s important to realize, though, that the law changes slowly. So far, the law hasn’t caught up with modern family trends. For the most part, for instance, the law still expects that children will leave the household late in their teenage years, and so cuts off the parents’ obligation to support their children after age 18.
That doesn’t work for many of today’s families. Many parents find themselves eager to make a commitment to their children beyond the minimum that the law requires. It turns out that family law mediation can help them with that.
How child support mediation services can help structure an education plan for your family
Not all children have identical educational needs. You might find that your child requires a deeper financial investment for education for any number of reasons, such as:
- Private school
- Boarding school
- Special classes and enhancement opportunities to develop an extraordinary talent
- Tutoring or remedial instruction
- Compensatory education or early vocational classes for children with learning disabilities or other special needs
- College or post-college study
Wealthy families can accommodate their children’s educational needs through financial planning tools such as trusts. But what of the family with middle-class incomes and assets?
It turns out that family mediation techniques that work so well for households in crisis can also be turned to more positive ends. An adaptive form of child support mediation allows parents to work out between themselves a plan for educational support for their children. This deal then becomes the heart of a postnuptial agreement.
Mediation for educational expenses can meet several needs within the family at the same time. Because the agreement is anchored in a legal contract, it binds the parties with obligations that they cannot arbitrarily break. Such agreements can:
- Clarify and record the couple’s values and priorities in a formal way.
- Establish an obligation for parents to support their child’s education after he has reached legal adulthood.
- Guarantee a mutual commitment from both parents with regard to saving and budgeting for education.
- Prove to teenage children how seriously their parents value educational achievement.
- Commit a stepparent to support a stepchild’s schooling needs after remarriage.
Call for assistance today
The postnuptial negotiation mediators from are standing by to assist families who want to create education plans for their children. Call (866) 337-4448 today to make an appointment at one of our offices in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, or to get a referral to mediation service provider in your area. Our mediation team is waiting for your call.