Divorces can be costly, and even after cases are settled, you may have to deal with lingering expenses, such as child support and alimony. There are ways to stay on track with your finances. Factoring in child support obligations into your budget is one of the most helpful ways to ensure that you remain financially responsible. Below, we’re sharing our biggest tips for making child support work.
How to Budget for Child Support When You Receive It
There’s no denying that managing a household as a single parent is much more expensive than when two people are contributing. Use the following tips to help you manage child support income more effectively:
Leave child support out of your budget, if possible. After a divorce, you should create a new budget based on your income alone. If you are receiving child support, try to dedicate that money to extra expenses for your child. It can go towards next month’s groceries or your child’s education. This is so that you don’t become dependent on these payments because they can be modified.
Calculate how much you spend raising your children monthly. Take inventory of your children’s expenses. This should include housing, food, clothing, medical expenses, entertainment, and activities. You should use this list to determine how much of the child support will help with the costs and if it’s enough.
Be wise with your spending. We can get careless with our money, especially when there’s an additional stream of payments. Remember that child support is intended to be used for your children. If you have extra at the end of the month, put it towards the next.
How to Budget for Child Support When You Owe It
It can be challenging to budget for child support and finding the money to set aside each month. Utilize these tips to help you organize your monthly expenses and pay for your support obligations:
Reduce discretionary spending. Create a budget that includes your monthly expenses, like your bills, car payments, and mortgage. This should also include entertainment, TV, and groceries. See if there’s an area where you can cut down on spending. For example, if you order out to eat five times a week, you should opt for getting groceries.
Be consistent with your payments. If child support money is not being taken from your paycheck, you should set up regular payments so that you aren’t late on your orders. You can do this through your bank or your local Office of Child Support Enforcement.
Pay at least some money each month. Some months may be harder than others, but you should always try to make some of the total payment. This is important if you want to avoid the legal consequences of not paying child support.
Request a child support modification. If your circumstances have changed and you are unable to pay, you may request a modification. These have to be substantial changes in life events, so it’s recommended that you consult a lawyer beforehand.
If you have questions about Nebraska’s child support guidelines, do not hesitate to reach out to our team at Reagan, Melton & Delaney, L.L.P.. Schedule your consultation today at (402) 226-1899.