Wolf, Baldwin & Associates, P.C.

The hidden costs of raising a child to think about during divorce

You might think that you only need to make one child support payment with each check and then you are done with your financial obligation to your children. This isn't the case. You likely will need to help cover other financial aspects of raising the children. Your exact responsibilities are included in your child support order. Knowing what is included and what you need to do is very important so you do not risk any contempt of court.

Your child's medical bills, for instance, might be a considerable cost beyond the basic support order. Typically, one parent is responsible for carrying medical insurance for the child. This will cover some of the bills, but the court order will also provide for the payment of any uninsured expenses and co-pays. Alternatively, you and your ex can agree on terms on your own, which might include dividing all these expenses evenly.

Another considerable cost of raising children is school supplies and even school clothing. If it is not specified in your support order, work with your ex to determine who will cover what expenses. For example, one parent might buy school clothes while the other purchases shoes. Someone might get the school supplies and the other pays for school dues and fees.

You also need to think about how other activities, such as band, choir and sports will be covered. Will the parent who approved the activity cover all the costs or will the expenses be split between parents?

Making the child expense plan as concise as possible can help if there is an issue over who should pay for what, or see that it is spelled out in your court order.  And remember to contact the family law attorneys at Wolf, Baldwin & Associates, P.C. for assistance!

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