Written By: Carolyn Jahn
When it comes to co-parenting, there is no denying that the most important factor is what is best for the children. This means effective communication with your co-parent is a must, and that includes discussing money. Maybe everything looks good now, but you will need a more reliable system that will come in handy when kids start growing, and their needs change.
Here are five tips for effectively communicating with your co-parent about money:
You want to be able to provide what is best for your child, including having a good relationship with both parents.
If you go into every conversation about money to win an argument, you’re not going to do what is best for your little one. It’s important to remember that you’re both on the same team when it comes to your child.
You aren’t in any relationship. However, you are in the business of co-parenting, so keep that in mind when discussing money matters. If you can approach the conversations from a place of mutual respect, you’ll be more likely to find common ground.
Be mindful of tone: it’s easy to get wrapped up in the emotion of a situation, but try to avoid raising your voice or using condescending language, just like at work.
Focus on the Benefit of Investment in your Children
It can be challenging to navigate financial discussions with a co-parent, particularly regarding the well-being and education of your children. Expenses are high, especially if you plan on providing for your child’s future. Planning every little detail and trying to predict all possible costs is essential.
Having a clear idea of your family’s financial status will help you make informed decisions and avoid any arguments or conflicts with your co-parent.
It is not all said and done. After all, you divorced for a reason, so be sure not to bring up any past arguments.
In this case, you can also seek help if this is a significant problem in communication in co-parenting. But, again, hiring someone else for this matter is sometimes better if you want to avoid any conflict. For example, an accountant can assist in setting up 529 plans, establishing college funds, and creating a budget for child-related expenses.
Keep Communication Lines Open
Honesty is key. It’s important to keep communication lines open with your co-parent, especially regarding finances.
If you have any concerns or questions, bring them up respectfully and calmly.
Don’t shut yourself off because that will give your co-parent a reason to shut you off. Instead, focus on the fact that your child has to be in contact with his mother or father to preserve mental health. And answer every call and try to be respectful, if not loving.
Make a Budget Together
By mapping income and expenses, you can better understand where finances stand and what needs to be paid for. This can help you avoid arguments about money in the future.
Or, you can set up a joint account that both of you contribute to and use to pay for the child’s expenses. This can help ensure that both of you are always on the same page regarding the child’s finances.
If you have trouble planning the future or have a busy schedule, consider hiring an accountant to help you make a financial plan that is best for your family, and even help manage child support payments and make sure they are made on time.
Be Ready for Compromise
Compromise is vital when it comes to financial matters in co-parenting. You may not always agree on how money should be spent, but it’s essential to find a middle ground with which you and your co-parent can feel comfortable.
- Be open to discussion – be willing to listen to your co-parent’s point of view.
- Keep it confidential – what is discussed between the two of you should stay between them unless it’s something that will directly impact your child.
- Be patient – remember that these conversations can be difficult, so be patient and understanding.
For example, suppose one parent wants to save money for a child’s future education, and the other wants to spend money on extracurricular activities. In that case, you can compromise by setting aside money for both purposes.
By following these simple, in theory, hard in-practice tips, you can make communicating about money with your co-parent easier and ensure you do what is best for your child.
About the Author:
Carolyn Jahn is a Tax Reduction Specialist. She has experience in both individual and corporate taxation, with a focus on business tax planning. Carolyn has also worked as a consultant for various accounting firms, providing them with specialist tax advice.