Kids are expensive! This is a fact that remains true even after a divorce with your co-parent has been finalized. Regardless of marital status, learning to effectively manage a co-parenting relationship as well as establishing a way to manage and split expenses related to your children will continue to be important. Educational expenses, in particular, can be significant. Some will already be covered under the child support order, but not all. There are substantial educational costs still likely to exist, but outside the purview of child support. How do you split these costs with your co-parent?
Splitting Educational Expenses with Your Co-Parent
Let us begin with one of the most severe of the educational expenses you will likely want to split with your co-parent. Private school tuition can be exorbitant and rival that of private universities across the United States. Private school tuition payments are likely not covered by monthly child support payments, which are mostly reserved to cover the day-to-day costs of raising a child. So, it can be best practice to detail how private school tuition payments will be split in your parenting plan.
You see, those parents getting a divorce in Florida are required to create a parenting plan which will outline key issues such as time-sharing and other critical custody matters. It is legally binding and enforceable. The more details covered in a parenting plan, the less room there is likely to be for confusion, hurt expectations, and conflict down the road. It can be the ideal place to address the sharing of educational expenses with your co-parent.
There are a number of ways that you could divide the cost of a private school with your co-parent and it can vary based on a number of factors, including the income level of a parent. Some decide to evenly split the cost of tuition while other co-parents decide that the parent with the higher income will pay for tuition. Other times, co-parents decide on an uneven split of the tuition costs to account for discrepancies in earning ability. For instance, the tuition cost may be split 70/30 to reflect the income disparities between the co-parents. If your parenting plan does not currently address how private school tuition will be covered, you can always seek a modification if the need arises.
Extracurricular expenses for your child can also be substantial. When you total up the costs of participating in extracurricular activities along with incidentals like uniforms and equipment, extracurricular activity costs can place a significant financial strain on a person, especially when expected to carry that burden alone. This is why it is a good idea to provide for the splitting of extracurricular expenses in your parenting plan as well. Like private school tuition, there are a number of different ways that you and your co-parent can split such expenses. You may want to split them 50/50 or split them in a different configuration so that the higher earning co-parent pays a bigger percentage.
Florida Family Law Attorneys
For a comprehensive parenting plan that addresses everything from parenting time to the splitting of educational costs, reach out to the experienced family law team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou for assistance. Contact us today.