Raising children is expensive, which is why finances can get tricky when your marriage ends but you still have to raise your children. Below are some tips to help you divide the responsibilities, lower expenses, and maximize savings as co-parents.
Good communication will make your co-parenting life easier, especially when it comes to money. If you are divorced, this is simpler because the court may have spelled out who is responsible for the basic living expenses, healthcare, extracurricular activities, and so on. However, you should still keep talking as you go along. Here are some important tips to take note:
Set expectations from each other
Divide the costs early. Understanding who pays what will prevent future fights. Have boundaries. The money conversation is centered around your child. Anything beyond that is private. Choose your battles. You have probably had plenty of fights with your ex. When it comes to your children, be picky on what is truly worth fighting over.
Create a budget
Naturally, some expenses will remain shared. Come up with a budget for these bills for smoother co-parenting. Some things to allocate for include daycare or after-school care, babysitting services, clothing, healthcare, school activities, birthdays and holiday expenses, and savings for college costs. It is up to you on how you will divide these expenses. If custody is shared equally, 50-50 makes sense, but it can also be 70-30 if one partner significantly earns more.
How to save money
With a budget in place, coming up with savings becomes a simpler process. Babysitting, for example, can be done by extended family members from time to time. Structuring your visitation plan can also minimize transportation costs.
Healthcare is a big one because it is expensive. Look at your health insurance options to find the most cost-effective way to provide for your children. Think about how you are filing for your taxes, too. You can alternate claiming the kids as dependents every year to share the savings benefit.
The most important thing is to solve financial issues together. Remove your emotions from co-parenting to simplify managing the costs and keep the peace within your family.