As contentious as divorce can be, one thing that most couples agree upon is they want to do what is in the best interest of their children. As parents this can be extremely challenging to keep this in perspective once the legal proceedings begin to move forward. The law provides child support calculators and requirements based on the income of the spouse paying child support. Rarely does this cover the true cost of raising children.
You may agree to any amount of child support, the key word there is agree. So how do you get the spouse paying child support to agree to paying more? Or as the spouse paying why would you agree to paying more than you are required to pay? I suggest creating a budget for the children, look at what you actually spend on camp, field trips, Halloween costumes, the Holiday season, birthday parties, sports, birthday gifts and gifts for parties they attend. This is a far from comprehensive list but it should get your wheels turning.
Raising children is an expensive venture and if you can agree, that word again, together that maintaining the lifestyle of your children is important, creating a budget is the first step. This can be a collaborative exercise or you may each complete your own budget for the kids.
What if you don’t want to agree to paying/receiving more child support? Maybe you use the legal guidelines for child support but agree to have one spouse pay for sports or birthday parties. This is your agreement and you have the opportunity to be creative. In my forms page you can find a budget worksheet you may find helpful.