What to do if in lieu of traditional child support, I’d like to set up an arrangement with my ex that would entail him putting money into some sort of savings account?

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What to do if in lieu of traditional child support, I’d like to set up an arrangement with my ex that would entail him putting money into some sort of savings account?

The money would then be given to my child at X age. I would like it so the account can only be accessed only with both of our signatures and only in the event of an emergency (medical, financial crisis, etc). What would be the best way to go about this?

Asked on September 29, 2012 under Family Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You need to visit with your family law attorney and with a financial planner.  The reason you want to visit with your family law attorney first is to get a feel for the judge in your court.  Some judges are okay with parents setting up a special checking account for the child, but they will never waive the original child support obligation.  So... before you get into some long, drawn out planning... see if this is even something that your judge will approve.  The family law attorney can draft the agreed orders which allow the arrangement to happen.

Your next step is to figure out "mechanically" the best accomplish what you are trying to do. Your family law attorney and a financial planner can give you several options.  One popular option is to set up a trust for your child and then have both parents named as trustees.  You can put any restrictions you would like on the use of the funds.  The trust could be funded by regular payments from your ex-.  However, depending on how much you expect your ex- to deposit may affect the utility of this idea-- that's why it's helpful to have a financial planner review your finances for any other options that might fit. 


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