Child-Related Expenses: There’s an App for That
Having children means never truly cutting ties with your ex. Whether it’s sharing concerns about your child, dropping the kids for visitation, or updating your ex on the upcoming week’s schedule, there is always going to be some interaction with your child’s other parent, at least until he turns 18.
But one area that routinely causes friction, and which often sets parents on the road back to court, has to do with payments for child-related expenses. Child support payments are set by the court based on a statutory formula. But children come with a lot of “other” expenses, payment of which isn’t always detailed in child support agreements - expenses like after school activities, class trips, sports uniforms and even medical costs not covered by insurance. Instead, the agreement either states that parents will share these expenses, or specifies a percentage that each parent will contribute.
But not knowing exactly what these other expenses are for can make the parent handing over the money feel as though he is being taken advantage of, and the parent asking for the money feel as though every little thing is a struggle – which often results in them heading back to court to fight over why $500 is needed for the track team or why suddenly the medical bills are higher. The result? Parents spend more money fighting over the expenses than what the expenses themselves are worth.
Handling Child-Related Expenses in the Digital Age
So it should come as no surprise that, in today’s digital age, there’s an app for that; several, in fact, all aimed at trying to increase accountability and communication between parents so that payments of these extra expenses can be made more smoothly and without increasing anger and resentment.
Some are set up similar to bill payment services. The parent who made the purchases enters the expense, attaches a receipt, and a bill is sent to the other parent. The program even allows the sender to input the already agreed upon splitting of expenses, so the other parent sees exactly how much he is required to pay. So instead of dad being asked to pay $200 for track, he will instead get itemized bills showing exactly what his money is being used to buy.
But sometimes, even with the use of an app, parents will still find themselves at an impasse over whether an expense is appropriate or who is responsible for paying for it. In these cases, it is often necessary to file a motion for post-judgment modification or enforcement of a support order.
Boca Raton Child Support Attorneys
Parenting children comes with a lot of extra expenses. Most of the time, parents can navigate these expenses by either openly communicating with each other or by using technology to help them track and divide expenses. But if you find you and your ex-partner cannot agree on payment of these expenses, the Boca Raton child support attorneys at Schwartz | White can help. Our attorneys have more than 50 years’ combined experience handling child support modification and enforcement cases, helping clients iron out issues that cropped up after entry of the initial support order or enforcing those details already agreed upon.