If you and your co-parent are sharing custody of your children and you have roughly the same income, you may have decided to share child-related expenses rather than put a child support order in place. You may both have every intention of paying your fair share of things like school fees, clothes, medical expenses and more. However, sometimes the everyday realities of sharing expenses can get messy.
It's important to have a system in place for noting expenses you have covered as well as reimbursements to your co-parent for your share of expenses. Co-parenting apps often have expense tracking systems that allow you to keep track of these things without having to communicate directly about them. In some cases, you can even reimburse each other as needed electronically.
Using an electronic system not only cuts down on personal communication that can lead to conflict. It also helps reduce the chances that your children will get caught in the middle of their parents' division of expenses.
It's important for kids to learn about how much things cost when they're old enough. However, they don't need to hear their parents battling about whether Mom should reimburse Dad for half the cost of the new iPhones she didn't think he needed to buy them or whether Dad really needed to rent a limo for the homecoming dance.
Whether one of you is paying child support to the other or not, it's essential to detail in your parenting agreement how and by whom various child-related expenses will be handled. Have a plan not just for potentially large expenses like braces, summer camp and promwear, but for everyday expenses. Those daily swipes of your debit card can add up quickly.
Your Florida family law attorney may recommend a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst to help you as you make a post-divorce budget. These and other financial professionals can guide you as you and your co-parent put a plan in place for supporting your kids after the divorce. Having a plan and sticking to it can reduce stress for everyone.