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How to Juggle Parenting Costs When You’re Divorced


Published on February 11th, 2022

When divorced parents have minor children, the question of how to divide expenses can easily become a point of contention between them. Even two exes who get along will need to navigate conversations around child-related expenses with care. In some cases, a mediator or a judge may be necessary to help parents outline how they will divide their money regarding certain expenses. Even if that is the case, you and your ex will likely have many conversations about shared parenting expenses in the road ahead. Your lawyers at Davis Friedman are here to help.

As a rule of thumb, these steps will help you juggle your financial obligations amicably:

  • Discuss expenses before they occur. There are computer programs to assist with this.
  • Plan for unexpected expenses.
  • Keep your child’s best interests in mind.
  • Spell out the details in your parenting plan.
  • Get legal help creating a post-divorce financial budget.

Communicate Your Points of View with One Another

Open communication is key to heading off money disagreements at the pass. It’s important for both parties to express their point of view. Try not to criticize your ex when you disagree on things. Differences of opinion may have contributed to your split, and some couples need to develop patience with one another in order to hear what the other has to say.

If your children are young, you will probably have many conversations that touch on parental expenses in the years ahead. Perhaps your ex will want to send your daughter to camp, but you think that cash could be better spent on tutoring. It’s unlikely that you’ll both agree on everything, so make a point of listening to your ex with an open mind.

However, be careful when discussing financial issues with your child, and be cognizant of what he or she might overhear. A child should never feel that money concerns are their fault. If you have complaints or concerns about child support or other financial issues involving your ex, there are other ways to address them. You may need to hash it out with a friend, therapist, or your lawyer, in addition to your ex.

Money Issues that Allocation Judgments and Co-Parenting Plans Can Address

In addition to parenting schedules and living arrangements, certain expenses can be spelled out in a Parenting Allocation Judgment or parenting plan. Make a list of important expenses that come up from time to time. Child-related expenses such as education fees are often included in a co-parenting plan. Sometimes a parenting plan will set forth the financial responsibility of each party for required education expenses such as school supplies or for costs incurred from a child’s extracurricular activities. However, co-parents may find that one person will end up covering most or all of the cost of an activity that they have a stronger opinion about than their ex.

Include Financial Obligations in Your Illinois Parenting Agreement

In your marriage, you may not have tallied every expense to cover school fees, electronics, and education needs. Now that you’re divorced, both parties will need to work toward a reasonable solution on how to divide these expenditures. Your attorney can help you address some of those cost-sharing details in your parenting agreement. You’ll find that addressing how you will divide back-to-school expenses and other costs will also help you avoid grievances in the future.

During a divorce, expenses are generally divided in proportion to you or your spouse’s income, as long as the expenses are considered both necessary and reasonable. The parties may need help from their attorneys when creating their parenting agreement. Your agreement may cover such items as who will cover the costs of education fees like school enrollment – and who will manage and pay for back-to-school shopping and extracurricular activities

Work with a Davis Friedman Attorney on a Post-Divorce Financial Budget

Money tends to be one of the biggest concerns during a divorce. Those woes don’t always go away the moment the papers are signed. The lawyers at Davis Friedman have expertise that helps couples address money issues in a way that benefits all parties. They will help you form a proper post-divorce budget – and help you to avoid other stressful situations that may arise in the future.

An experienced attorney at Davis Friedman, LLP can assist you if you and your ex are not in agreement and will help ensure your parenting agreement contains all of the necessary and appropriate details. Contact one of our top-rated and award-winning attorneys for guidance.

Have questions? Contact us about working together.

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