Q: My daughter is getting child support, on her fafsa she has to claim me, the biological mother and the step dads income!!
Her EFC, expected family contribution, is high and is not eligible for any federal grant money or need based scholarships! Since her step dad and I have to take out loans to help her out with college, does the biological dad have the right to claim her on his taxes this year? Also is there support orders in Nebraska where a non-custodial parent has to continue to pay support while a child is in college?
A: In Nebraska, the duty to pay child support continues until the age of 19. The parents can enter into a contract, even within their custody order, for the parents to have an obligation to provide assistance with college tuition or expenses. The Court can't order this unless both parents agree to it. Once the parents have agreed to this as part of their custody order, the court will generally enforce it under contract law if a parent later changes their mind. Thus, the Court will generally force the parent to pay a share of college expenses if that was part of the parents' agreement that was memorialized as part of the custody order.
Whether a parent gets to claim a child on taxes is governed by the IRS rules and the custody order. If the custody order says that a parent is able to claim a child if they are current on their child support obligation, then the parents are to follow that order even if one parent helps with college expenses and the other does not.
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