Communicating With Your Ex-Spouse About Co-Parenting Financial Decisions
You might think that “communicating with your ex-spouse about co-parenting financial decisions” is a euphemism for “fighting with your ex-spouse about child support,” but it is still necessary, and still challenging, to discuss child-related financial decisions with your ex-spouse, even if your child support order has been in place for years and the paying spouse has always paid on time. You will have to discuss matters like children’s summer camp and orthodontic expenses, the kinds of expenses that you could not have anticipated when you finalized the parenting plan and child support order. A detailed and feasible parenting plan helps, and so does being honest and not adversarial in your interactions with your ex. A Boca Raton child support lawyer can help you resolve disputes related not only to how much child support is appropriate but also to how you spend the money you receive.
Being Transparent About How Much You Are Spending on Your Children
Child support orders indicate not only how much money one parent pays the other, based on the discrepancies in their income and number of days of parenting time but also on expenses for which one parent or the other is responsible. For example, in many families with divorced parents, the children have health insurance coverage through one parent’s employer-provided policy. The child support order then indicates how the parents will divide their responsibility for the portion of healthcare costs not covered by insurance.
Coparenting apps such as Our Family Wizard enable you to share documents such as medical bills and statements from your employer-provided flexible spending account for health expenses. Likewise, you can share a Google Doc spreadsheet with your ex, where you can record all the child-related bills you have incurred and how much you have paid.
Which Topics Are Off Limits?
Once you are divorced, your ex-spouse no longer has the right to micromanage your finances. In order to communicate effectively with your ex about co-parenting, you must establish boundaries. Don’t ask about each other’s expenses unrelated to the children. Don’t make snide remarks about the fact that your ex took the children on a vacation to Disney World, splurging on theme park tickets and notoriously expensive restaurants inside the parks. Whatever you do, avoid the subject of your ex’s new partner and the partner’s finances.
If your ex-spouse is truly being dishonest about finances and you reasonably believe that the financial information your ex provided so that the court could issue a child support order was not truthful, this is a conversation to have with your child support lawyer. Likewise, your lawyer can help you modify the child support amount if your financial circumstances have changed for the worse since your divorce became final.
Contact Schwartz | White About Peaceful Co-Parenting
A South Florida family law attorney can help you develop a seamless parenting plan and rise to the co-parenting challenges that arise after your divorce becomes final. Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.