Some couples who divorce and don’t have children choose to make a clean, permanent break from each other’s lives. But if you are a divorced parent, you and your ex are probably still involved in each other’s lives in some way, if only for the sake of your children. One way that many divorced parents must work together is by splitting the costs of parenting.
This isn’t always easy. After all, some divorces are amicable and others are contentious. Finding a fair way to cover the expenses of parenting can be a challenge. Still, it is often a necessity in many divorces. You can use some of these tips to figure out a way of splitting parenting costs that works for you.
Have frank discussions about money
Communication is often the key to resolving financial issues. Have frank but polite discussions with your spouse regarding the costs of child-rearing. If having face-to-face conversations is not an option, an attorney or mediator can help facilitate the discussion. Depending on their ages, you may also want to keep your children looped into the conversation so that they can understand their situation.
Decide how to split costs
It could benefit you to create a method of dividing costs. The most obvious solution is to split everything fifty-fifty, but this may not be a great fit for everyone. If you and your spouse have significantly different incomes, consider paying the costs proportionate to what you make.
Let some expenses slide
Even if your divorce decree has specific regulations for what each parent must pay for certain costs, life is not usually this clear-cut. Sometimes, incidents pop up that no one can anticipate. It is easy to get caught up in exactly who paid for what, and whether it was exactly equal. Sometimes, it’s okay to allow your spouse to pick up the tab for you, or for you to pay the check—without worrying whether it is perfectly balanced.