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Financial planning may reduce co-parenting stress

The American Psychological Association has reported that between 40% and 50% of marriages nationwide end in divorce. It is among the most stressful events a person can experience, and it can bring with it financial concerns, especially for couples who have children. Co-parenting after a Virginia divorce becomes much easier if the parents work together to minimize financial stresses.

The divorce decree is a good place to start. This is the document that makes the divorce official, and it usually sets forth the parents' responsibilities, including who will pay for education, extracurricular activities and health care for the children. Spending time with the other parent to focus on the details of the divorce decree can make problems less likely later.

It can be difficult and emotional to discuss finances with an ex-spouse, but regular, honest communication can help with co-parenting. It's a good idea to establish a reliable system of communication, be it by phone, text or email. Conversations should happen on a regular schedule; setting a monthly phone call will work for many people.

Because of recent changes to the tax code, recipients of alimony no longer must pay taxes on the payments and alimony paid is not tax-deductible. Co-parents can employ planning and strategy when it comes to declaring head of household status for income tax purposes. Whichever parent has physical custody for more than half the year can declare head of household.

People who have questions about co-parenting after divorce might want to meet with an attorney. An attorney who has experience in family law might be able to help by analyzing the client's finances and developing a plan for dividing financial responsibility for the kids.

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