How To Stop Children’s Expenses From Being A Constant Source Of Conflict When Co-Parenting
The level of conflict and animosity involved in divorce and co-parenting varies widely from one couple to another. In some cases, you might not see your ex-spouse’s worst side until your divorce is already final and your ex is jealous of how well you and your children seem to be getting along as a family without your ex. In other cases, you might find that you and your ex-spouse get along a lot better when you can just stick to following your parenting plan and you no longer have to argue about how much is a reasonable amount to pay for every purchase. Financial decisions outside the scope of your child support order are likely to arise in almost every family. If you divorced when your children were little, then paying for braces or travel to visit colleges was probably the farthest thing from your mind. A Birmingham child support lawyer can help you and your ex-spouse resolve disputes related to unexpected expenses for your children.
Court-Ordered Parenting Plans Cannot Anticipate All Possible Expenses
Calculating child support is exactly the kind of complex mathematical feat for which computers were designed. It is not possible to know how much money one spouse should pay the other until you have finalized a parenting plan which indicates how many days per year your children will spend with you and how many they will spend with your ex-spouse. After that, the court must account for the children’s expenses and each parent’s income and then apportion each parent’s responsibility for the children’s expenses according to the parents’ ability to pay. Therefore, if your income is much higher than your ex-spouse’s income, the court might order you to pay child support to your ex even though the children spend the majority of their time with you.
Furthermore, the court might order one parent to pay for the children’s health insurance while dividing the children’s uninsured medical expenses between the two parents. The best way to prevent conflict about this is to record all payments toward the children’s medical expenses in a shared spreadsheet, and indicate what you paid out of your own money and which payments came from an employer-provided flexible spending account. Likewise, you can use co-parenting apps such as Our Family Wizard to record your child-related expenses.
The beauty of documenting your child-related expenditures in a document you share with your ex is that you are being transparent with each other about relevant expenses while staying out of each other’s business about all other matters financial. When you see what is on the spreadsheet, you are less likely to try to figure out how much your ex spent on Valentine’s Day dinner with his new girlfriend, for example. In this regard, transparency prevents conflict.
Contact Peeples Law About Keeping the Peace While Co-Parenting
A Birmingham family law attorney can help you avoid conflict-prone situations related to your children’s expenses. Contact Peeples Law today to schedule a consultation.