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Three tips to share expenses when co-parenting after divorce

Getting a divorce is never easy, but it can be particularly difficult if children are involved. Even though you will no longer be in a romantic relationship with your ex, the parental relationship will continue. The level of involvement will vary for each couple, but those who choose to co-parent will likely communication often.

Three ways to help navigate discussions about the financial side of co-parenting include:

  1. Communicate. A decision to co-parent is one that will require efficient and clear communication. Discuss likely expenses including school costs, extracurriculars and medical needs. During these conversations it is important to remember you will be in this parental relationship for a while. It is best to figure out a way to communicate without letting emotions overtake the goal of the conversation.
  2. Put together a plan. Once on relatively the same page with expected expenses, discuss a plan. Will the parents split the costs 50/50? Does one parent have benefits through an employer that could help cover the expenses? Two common options include dividing an expense proportionally, based on each parent’s income or having the parent that encourages the activity cover its costs.
  3. Remember priorities. Navigating these issues with an ex can be difficult — after all, there is a reason you got divorced in the first place. While dealing with these frustrations, keep in mind why you are still in touch with your ex. The children will likely benefit if the parents can develop a plan that works for all involved.

Many potential issues that may arise while navigating expenses that are connected to co-parenting can be addressed during the divorce. An attorney experienced in these matters can help draft a divorce settlement agreement that provides guidance and reduces the risk of future issues.

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