There are many moving parts in a divorce. If there are children involved, there are even more things to consider. Do not let everything distract you from putting plans in place to protect your future wellbeing, particularly your future financial wellbeing and ability to provide for your children. Many people may mistakenly operate under the assumption that child support will take care of all needs of the children. This is not true. There are also instances of shared custody where there will not be a child support order in place, but there will still be child expenses that you will want to share with your co-parent. Be sure to address these things on the front on. Addressing these things up front and in a written agreement will help make things easier down the road.
How are Child Care Expenses Divided After Divorce?
In general, child support is paid by the noncustodial parent to the parent with primary physical custody. It is intended to help cover the basic expenses that come with raising a child. When we say basic, we mean the bare basic. Even when there is a child support order in place, it commonly does not cover all of the expenses that one can incur in raising a child. For instance, if you have an infant, toddler, or preschooler, child support will include coverage for basic necessities like housing, clothing, and food. It will not, however, cover costs for things like babysitters, day care, or even if you need to pay for post-school extended care. If you have a school-aged kid, you should note that Texas does not include what the state law views as “extras.” Extras can include:
- Summer camp
- Other extracurricular activities
This means the custodial parent is likely going to be on the hook for paying participation fees, uniform costs, equipment costs, and more that are associated with participating in the activity.
Think of all of the other costs that would not be included in those “basic” costs not covered by child support. When your kids start driving, a car or car insurance will not be covered.
Planning to cover the cost of college tuition? This will not be included either. Even if your spouse contributed to or planned to contribute to these things during the marriage, he or she is under no legal obligation to continuing paying or to uphold that promise once the marriage is terminated. You should, as part of the divorce proceedings, put a written agreement in place that addresses these childcare costs and plan to revisit them as your kids get older. Detail the list of expenses you plan for your children that may not be covered by child support. Outline who will pay for what, as well as how and when payments will be made.
At Navarrete & Schwartz, we want you to have the brightest post-divorce life possible. To do this, we assist you with things such as protecting your financial future. Let us help you. We are proud to serve the residents of Midland, Texas. Contact us today.