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What are shared parenting expenses, and how do you track them?

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2024 | Child Support

It’s not unusual for co-parents to share certain expenses for their children, usually in a pro rata split according to their relative incomes. Whether you’re splitting things 75/25 or 50/50, however, you have got to get a system in place to keep track.

Communication is always key to an effective co-parenting plan, and that’s never more true than when you’re trying to navigate shared financial responsibilities. 

What kinds of expenses do co-parents usually share?

Child support is meant to cover the basics, and kids often need a lot more. It’s not unusual for a parenting plan to specify all of the “extras” that parents will divide, like:

  • Summer camps and gifted programs
  • Tutoring costs when a child is struggling
  • Extracurricular expenses for band, choir or theater
  • Co-pays at the doctor’s office or for prescriptions
  • Back-to-school clothing and supplies
  • Electronics, cellular devices and phone plans
  • Public transportation costs

Most of the time, the parenting plan will specify what expenses have to be split, but parents may also agree to share costs that are not on the list.

How do you make shared expenses work?

These days, the easiest thing you can do is keep electronic records. Snap copies of receipts and use a shared ledger or app to document what was spent, what each parent has paid and what they still owe. This creates complete transparency and can eliminate a lot of conflicts, since the “evidence” of what must be paid is right there in black and white.