Money Talk: Negotiating Split of Child-Related Costs after Divorce

child related costs.Divorce is never easy, but when couples discuss and negotiate the big issues outside of court, they tend to experience less stress, overall. One of the most important issues are those related to children, such as custody arrangements, child visitation, and child support. If you have children and are planning on going through a divorce, you might find these tips for negotiating the split of child-related expenses helpful during your discussions.

Remember What Is Most Important

Agreeing while you are getting ready to go through a divorce can seem impossible, but it is important to remember what is most important when discussing child-related matters: the health, happiness, and welfare of your kids. If necessary, bring a negotiator into the discussions. Just make sure it is someone that is impartial to the outcome and is only focused on ensuring that the children receive the best of both of their parents.

Factor in More than Just the "Typical" Costs

When it comes to determining child support, most family courts will factor in things like the needs of the children (health insurance, child care, special needs care, etc.); income of both parents; and the standard of living prior to divorce. While you can (and if necessary, should) renegotiate child support in the future if anything major changes, the small changes are not accounted for in court negotiations. Extracurricular activities, which can be enriching for children, are not typically accounted for either. These are factors that both parents should consider, and attempt to resolve, during pre-divorce discussions.

Get Creative

Because there are factors not accounted for within the court, parents may need to get creative when it comes to splitting child-related post-marital costs. For example, if your child has been talking about taking up karate lessons, and you both feel it would be beneficial, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse could switch off on paying tuition costs. Another possibility would be to agree on who will pay what ahead of time. For example, if one of you pays the karate tuition, the other would cover the cost of back-to-school supplies each year.

Share When Possible

Raising a child is expensive enough without having to buy two of everything. The following are a few ideas for saving money on both ends:

  • Send big-ticket items along with your child instead of buying one for each house (game consoles, tablets, small computers, etc.);
  • Whenever a second item is warranted, consider purchasing second-hand;
  • Split your child’s wardrobe so that each parent has enough to last during their allotted time;
  • Ask your child to choose which books and toys they would like to play with at each house and distribute accordingly. To keep things fresh, consider switching those items every few months;
  • Purchase one small Christmas or birthday gift separately and then split the cost of the remaining gifts;
  • And, if your child has spare bedding, split among each house.

Need Help Negotiating? Contact a Divorce Attorney Today

Even with the best of tips, some parents may still experience roadblocks while trying to split child-related post-divorce costs. Rather than cause more stress for you, your child, and your soon-to-be ex-spouse, seek the help of a qualified professional. The right attorney will not only help you through the divorce process, they will help ensure that your child’s needs are the primary focus of all child-related matters.

With more than 75 years of combined experience, the Law Offices of Martoccio & Martoccio can provide efficient representation for your uncontested divorce. If litigation is needed, however, we will advocate for the best interest of you and your children. Contact our experienced Hinsdale divorce attorneys for a free consultation by calling 630-920-8855 today.


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