While you and your ex-spouse put the last touches on your parenting plan for joint custody of your shared children, you feel you covered all bases. Did you account for the financial aspects of having joint custody?
Kiplinger offers ideas to think about. Take steps to secure your financial health while raising your children.
Technology helps track childcare expenses. You and your former spouse may use the tools to reimburse each other for unexpected child expenses, and you can keep track of spending for better budgeting.
Decide who claims your children on your taxes
Have you and your ex decided who acts as the custodial parent? Think carefully about the decision, as only the custodial parent may claim your shared children as dependents on tax returns. Further, only the custodial parent may claim head-of-household filing status. Sit down together with an accountant to discuss how your child custody plan affects other areas of your taxes, such as federal stimulus payments.
Think twice about health insurance for your shared children
Does your current health insurance plan include your child’s preferred physician in its network? If not, it may make sense for the other parent to include your child on her or his health insurance policy. If your child has an existing condition, think strategically about which parent’s plan offers the most favorable options and coverage.
Do not forget about emergencies
Financial emergencies do not wait until a convenient time to crop up. When possible, put money back into an emergency fund so you have the means to care for yourself and your child during hard financial times.
While doing everything to care for your children, ensure that you take care of yourself. The right financial knowledge helps set you and your children up for success.