For some people, going through a divorce means that you can completely cut ties with your ex. This isn’t the case when you have children. Transitioning to co-parents instead of parents who are in a romantic relationship with each other is a major change.
One of the factors that you need to think about when you make this transition is money. The divorce doesn’t mean that raising the children will be any less costly. Instead, it means that you and your co-parent will have to discuss child-related expenses to determine who will pay for them.
Start with the major expenses
Major expenses for the child should be discussed as quickly after the split as possible. This includes things like uninsured medical care costs and expenses related to their education. Determining how these will be split and how payments will be handled is critical. They should be put in writing once decisions are made so you and your ex can refer to them if questions arise.
Determine optional expenses
Some expenses, such as your child’s extracurricular fees, are considered optional. You and your ex should discuss how these will be handled. It might not be a huge deal if both parents agree that the child needs to continue those activities but you may have an issue if your ex suddenly feels they’re too expensive.
Even if you get along with your ex, be sure that you put the agreements about money into the parenting plan. This ensures that both parents know what they’re responsible for paying. It also gives you the legal backing for acting if your co-parent doesn’t take care of what they’re supposed to pay.