Cupid's Pulse Article: Child Expenses After DivorceCupid's Pulse Article: Child Expenses After Divorce

By Michele Sfakianos, RN, BSN for Hope After Divorce

The expenses for caring for children continue to rise, and that doesn’t make it any easier for divorced parents. Each parent attempts to keep their own household going, and at the same time, they often try to share expenses for their children. This may be court ordered or due to a mutual agreement between the parents.

Whether the divorcing couple is a celebrity couple in the public eye or a private couple, the children’s needs and welfare should be the number one priority. You must accept and embrace the reality that your children’s expenses to live will not change. They are our greatest responsibility and deserve the best care and protection we can give them, whether married or divorced. Some divorced celebrity couples, like Demi Moore and Bruce Willis and Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe, seem to put their children’s best interest ahead of their own as they co-parent together.

Related Link: Ryan Phillippe Says He’s ‘ Proud’ of How He and Reese Co-Parent

Routine check-ups at both the doctor’s office and the dentist are essential for your children. One of the parents should have both medical and dental coverage on the children, as the cost of this type of preventative care out of pocket is very high. If one of your children have an emergency for either place, it can be a bill you have to pay for a very long time.

Childcare is another expense that can add up when a divorce takes place. Perhaps one of the parents was the caregiver, and now both are in the workforce. The parents should decide on a childcare provider together. It may be a licensed facility, a nanny, or even a family member. The cost of childcare should be second to the quality of care that your children are receiving.

Inevitably, there will be additional expenses for your children. Who is going to pay for school clothing and supplies? Many parents who pay child support assume that they pay enough for such items with that monthly check. Yet it may be just enough to help the family with food and shelter. You don’t want your children to go without due to lack of money.

Many children love to be involved in extracurricular activities as well. It can be sports, dance, or clubs. There will be expenses involved, including special clothing and shoes needed and even enrollment fees. Parents need to be willing to share these expenses so that their children can take part in such events.

Related Link: Helping Your Child Through Divorce

Summer is also a time when there are more expenses for children. They may want to go to swimming lessons, camping, or even to a summer camp. All of these things cost money, and someone has to pay it! Some feel the parent who makes more money should cover the cost. This is up to the parents though, as many want to do everything 50/50. Problems could arise when one parent can’t afford their share.

As you can see, there are plenty of additional expenses to consider for your children when you are divorced. Make sure you are willing to discuss these expenses with the other parent. You always want to do what’s in the best interest of your children. Bottom line: Get as much in writing as you can when it comes to who will cover expenses. This way, everyone involved knows what to plan for.

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Michele Sfakianos, RN, BSN, is a Registered Nurse, Life Skills Expert, Speaker and Award Winning Author. She is the owner of Open Pages Publishing, which includes her series of “The 4-1-1” books on Life Skills, Step Parenting, and Surviving Teenhood. Michele is a contributing expert for,,, and