Child support and alimony settlements or orders do not end financial issues. Spouses should be prepared to deal with divorce financial matters that arise after their divorce.
The settlement is a good start. Potential expenses and responsibility for their payment should be addressed. Costs can be allocated according to a spouse's resources.
Unexpected expenses will arise. Children may have unanticipated expenses for college, extracurricular activities or purchasing a car.
Parents must prioritize these expenses. A spouse with primary custody may bear the financial burden for any expense they can consider a priority if the other spouse feels that it is non-essential.
Communication is essential for resolving these expenses. Discussions should be calm and polite and not become a forum for airing unrelated grievances. At times, a reminder to the other spouse to timely comply with their agreement to pay certain expenses may be sufficient.
Young children should not become involved in these discussions. Blaming the other parent for financial problems or criticizing them is inappropriate.
As children become older and ask for items or financial assistance, they should become involved in these talks. Both parents and their child need to discuss how the expenses should be allocated.
At times, it may cost less in time and aggravation for a spouse to pay for smaller items where the couple cannot reach an agreement. Dealing with these smaller expenses may also be advisable if a spouse is struggling to have their ex pay for expenses contained in the settlement agreement.
An attorney should be consulted, however, where the other spouse will not help pay for larger expenses that are important for the child's well-being. Lawyers can also negotiate a settlement agreement that is fair and reasonable and meets their needs.