Jacquelyn S. Gonz, Attorney At Law Llc

Four tips for handling finances with a co-parent

In Missouri, most divorces end in shared custody over children. It’s a safe option because children rely on both parents to ensure a safe, happy childhood. However, sharing custody means sharing parental duties, including financial decisions.

The thought of sharing finances with a co-parent may seem stressful, but there are ways to handle money with a former spouse that doesn’t end in a heated argument.

Review the divorce agreement

Most couples sign an official agreement after the divorce that states all the compromises, assets and responsibilities for co-parenting. The court also specifies the financial obligations of each parent, including healthcare, education and additional activities. A divorce agreement puts duties on each parent to provide for their child financially and how to address any future money problems.

Communicate often with your ex

Most couples separate because they don’t want to spend more time with one another. However, it’s complicated when children are involved. You will always be tied to your former spouse through your child, and it’s crucial to communicate any significant financial decisions for your child with their parent. You talk out any issues and find a solution between the two of you that works best for your kid.

Create a system that works

After you devise a solution, find a system that works well to cover the costs of extra items, such as school clothes or unexpected braces. It’s crucial to establish a standard policy because the court agreement will not review every financial decision, only the major costs. Most couples look at their incomes and find a fair way to cover additional costs. For example, if one parent makes double what the other makes, the parent who makes more should pay more for the child’s expenses.

Embrace technology

Co-parents should also experiment with new software and apps that allow parents to communicate directly about shared expenses and upload receipts on their phone. According to CNBC, apps create a shared space for parents to talk about finances while creating a paper trail. One recommendation is OurFamilyWizard, a web and mobile tool explicitly made for divorced parents.

The most crucial aspect parents need to consider is their child. If financial woes stress them out, it will eventually lead to stress on your child. Consider what’s best for them and your co-parent. You may find a way to keep yourself out of court and a happier family dynamic.

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