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Dividing shared parenting expenses after separation or divorce

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2023 | Child Custody, Divorce

When parents in Indiana separate or divorce, child support will usually be one of the topics they discuss. However, child support does not cover all expenses related to a child’s upbringing, so they will also have to figure out how to divide these additional expenses. While this has the possibility of creating conflict between the parents, the conflict might be avoided if parents include this in their parenting plan as they are creating it.

What types of shared expenses are not included in child support payments?

Child support payments after a divorce are granted to cover expenses necessary for raising a child, such as shelter, food and clothing. This might also include utilities, for example, as they are needed in a safe home environment. However, raising children involves additional expenses, and the parents divide these expenses between them. Some of these expenses include:

  • Health insurance and other medical costs
  • Fees for extra-curricular activities and equipment
  • School supplies and clothes
  • Field trips

How can parents divide these additional expenses?

Parents can negotiate and agree to each be responsible for a percentage of these additional expenses and include it in their parenting agreement. In some cases, the division might be 50-50 while in others parents might agree to a different split depending on each parent’s income. However, if the parents cannot agree, they can go to court, and a judge will decide how to split these shared expenses. In those cases, the judge will consider each parent’s income and then order the split based on this.

Whether the parents come to their own agreement or the court decides for them, including the division of shared expenses in the parenting plan will help parents avoid misunderstandings and conflicts. Because parenting plans should be detailed, parents can even choose to include how expenses will be tracked, how documentation will be kept and even how they will pay each other back.