(WJBK) - If you are separate or divorced back to school should be easy right? Think again. Even if you have a finalized divorce, issues like who pays for school supplies, extra curricular activities and lunches can get very tricky!
Attorney Sabrina Cronin has some suggestions on how to handle these matters to help things go smoothly:
-Review school forms together if possible
-Keep parenting time swaps away from school
-Don't make your child a messenger
-Both parents should work together with the child's schedule, help with homework, bringing the child to activities, etc.
-Being a team is important even if you aren't together as a couple
In a 50/50 split, which is becoming more common, the payment of support does not absolve either parent of responsibility for children's expenses. Each parent should be equally responsible for out of pocket expenses for the children, such as clothing, school expenditures (lunches, books, etc.) and arguably this could be based also upon the parties' individual incomes.
In a primary custodian arrangement, the primary custodian is usually responsible for the costs of lunches, school supplies and clothing. Typically thought, child support payments should cover ordinary expenses such as lunches, clothing, and other school expenditures.
Parents usually agree to discuss extracurricular activity costs and if both parties agree to the activity, they find a way to share these costs. This should definitely be included in the Judgment of Divorce.
The more detailed you can be in your Judgment, the better. Or perhaps put language in the Judgment reflecting that these items are to be worked out between the parties, but in the event they cannot agree, the default provisions are determined.