If you are a stay-at-home parent planning to seek alimony as part of your San Jose divorce, it’s important to be aware of the possible impact your child’s grandparents might have on your spousal support qualifications.
With economic difficulties hitting young parents especially hard, it’s becoming more and more common for grandparents to be a vital source of financial support. Instead of simply giving their grandchildren toys at Christmas, many grandparents are providing necessary financial support throughout the year — paying for everything from back to school wardrobes to SAT tutoring services. This financial help can sometimes have implications if you are negotiating a San Jose divorce settlement.
According to the AARP, 37% of seniors provide assistance to their adult children to cover daily living expenses. If financial assistance has been provided before the couple filed for divorce and is used to cover ordinary costs like daycare or housing, a judge might consider these gifts as income. In the case of a stay-at-home mom, it would be possible that these gifts would decrease her eligibility for spousal support from her ex-husband. The ex-husband would still be required to pay child support, however.
Grandparents who want to help their grandchildren can do so without creating problems in a divorce settlement, but they need to consider their approach carefully. Tax law allows grandparents to provide gifts of $13,500 a year before gift tax limits start to kick in. Grandparents who want to help with a child’s educational expenses can set up 529 college savings plans that can be held in a grandparent’s name. Grandparents with extensive financial assets may choose to set up a trust for their grandchildren.
Generally, most San Jose divorce lawyers say the safest approach is to have grandparents provide assistance with extra expenses like music lessons and private tutoring that are solely for the grandchild’s benefit instead of assisting with general household costs.