Sunday, December 22, 2019

How to Save Money While Co-Parenting

Being divorced can be expensive. However, if you and your ex are able to cooperate and work as a team, there are ways you can certainly save money. Here's some ideas how.

Divorce sucks. Nobody gets married thinking that they will end up in divorce down the line. It is especially hard if kids are involved as they often end up in the middle. Some couples, for the sake of their child’s welfare, agree to co-parent. However, co-parenting can still be financially challenging.
We all know that raising a child is expensive. That said, couples need to divide expenses so they can still maximize their savings effectively.

Co-Parenting and Finances

When you separate from your partner, you have meet with child support lawyers to talk about the details of how you are going to divide the expenses. You can review who will shoulder necessary living expenses, extracurricular activities, healthcare, college planning, and emergency expenses. To help facilitate a smooth agreement, here are some tips:

Know Your Boundaries

It is okay to ask about costs about your child’s school fees or extracurricular activities. But, it is never polite to ask about your ex-spouse’s personal savings or income.

Focus on the Kids

It is never easy to co-parent in such an emotionally charged situation. There will always be issues that may crop up here and there. You don’t have to react over everything. Choose your battles wisely.
Once you’ve settled on your issues, it is time to set a co-parenting budget. This budget is vital to make things easier for you and your former partner. List down all child-related fees and agree on which items will be divided and which ones will be independently shouldered. For shared expenses, you may include:

  • School-related fees (including tuition fees, field trips, and homeschooling costs)
  • Babysitting costs
  • Healthcare and dental services
  • Clothing
  • Birthday parties
  • College savings

Note that shared expenses do not have to be equal. It can depend on who has more income between the two of you. If the other party earns more, it is only appropriate to split the expenses at 70-30.

Saving Money Together

You can adjust your budget plan as you go along the process. Both of you must be on the same page when it comes to savings. As co-parents, it is a must that the two of you would communicate on how both of you can have savings when it comes to raising your children.

For instance, instead of leaving your child in a daycare, why not ask a family member or hire a nanny to look after your kids? You should also take about arranging your visitation program to lessen transportation costs.

It would also be useful to take a look at your health insurance options. Talk about the cost-effective ways that can cover your child’s healthcare. If one or both of you can have a Health Savings Account (HSA), grab it since it will allow you to make tax-free withdrawals for specific expenses.
When it comes to tax filing, talk about how you can work your way around on claiming children as dependents for tax filings. Check your income and find a way on all the deductions that you are eligible to see which one will have the most savings.

Best Tip

Live frugally. One of the best ways for co-parents to maximize their savings is to live frugally and teach their children the value of it. As parents, we often commit the mistake of spoiling our children with all the possible toys and trips to make up for the broken marriage. While it is good, it can also be detrimental to their health and well-being. It does not have to be the case. Doing it from time to time is okay, but splurging on your children whenever they are with you is a big no-no. When you talk to your kids about your situation and make them understand, there will be no need to spoil them with all the unnecessary things.