Getting your children ready to go back to school can be expensive. It can also create additional problems for families in divorced homes because child support doesn’t include back-to-school shopping.
Alan Plevy, a Family Law Attorney and Principal at SmolenPlevy, says school supplies tend to become an out-of-pocket expense, often falling into the hands of the custodial parent. But Child Support to the custodial parent tends to only cover a child’s basic needs like housing, food and clothing.
So how do you decide who covers what for back-to-school shopping in a divorced home?
Plevy recommends keeping all of your receipts and splitting all of the expenses down the middle. Another way to divide the cost is by using the same income ratio from their court orders. So if one parent pays 66% for medicine, they should pay 66% for back-to-school.
Other tips from Plevy for cutting back on the stress of buying back-to-school supplies in a divorced home?
- Don’t start “can you top this?” spending wars.
- Don’t buy a computer for your child and then ban them from bringing it to the other parent’s home.
- Remember cooperation goes a long way to help exes and their children handle this season.