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According to recent estimates, the average cost of raising a child is $233,610. That’s a lot of money, and that’s a lot of reason to track your expenses after you get divorced.

You might have child support arrangements with your ex. You might be the payer or the recipient of this child support money. Regardless of whether you’re the recipient or the payer, some childcare expenses will fall outside of what your child support is intended to pay for. Depending on your parenting and child custody agreement, you may be able to recoup some of these costs from the other parent.

Save your receipts and keep a log of your child-related costs

You can’t get remuneration for your childcare expenses if you don’t keep track of them. As such, you will want to keep a logbook and receipts of all of your child-related costs. You should then print an actual invoice that you will email to the other parent every several months.

The benefits of tracking your childcare expenses

Having an expense-tracking and invoice system like the one described above is an excellent way to keep abreast of debts owed. Keeping a record like this will also reduce the chances that you and the other parent will lock horns about financial issues. These kinds of disagreements, after all, are largely unnecessary — especially when you can avoid them through accurate and responsible record keeping.

Ultimately, the best result of tracking your expenses is peace of mind. You will know whether you’re following your parenting plan accurately and fairly, and you will make sure that you’re not spending more money than you should be.

Are you pulling more than your share of the financial weight?

It’s not uncommon for California parents to disagree about who should spend how much on various childcare costs. When these kinds of disagreements arise, parents can often resolve them by gaining more insight and understanding of the terms and conditions of their child custody and parenting plan. Once parents fully understand their parenting plan — and the fact that they can enforce it in court if necessary — most disagreements benefit from swift resolution.