Divorce and Custody - Reimbursement myth

I've been learning recently more about the psychology of enforcing marital settlement agreements, and other agreements between parents. Especially in the area of dividing expenses, always a contentious issue.

There's a common misperception that a 50/50 split of children's expenses means that when one parent pays an expense, and provides a receipt to the other parent, that parent's obligation is to refund or reimburse 50% of that amount to the other parent. That is not the case!

If the obligation of each parent is to pay 50% of the children's expenses of some kind, or 50% of uncovered medical expenses, then any petition or motion seeking to enforce that 50/50 provision should take into account how much the other parent has already paid independently toward children's expenses and medical expenses. To simply say "I paid this money,  you me owe half" completely misses the point, and is not what these paragraphs mean.

If you want the other side to have to reimburse you 50% of anything you spend, then that language should be clearly spelled out in your marital settlement agreement or other court-approved agreement.

if you have questions about the interpretation or enforcement of any document in your case, or if you are beginning to draft or prepare financial documents, such as in a divorce or custody agreement, you need legal advice from a professional!

If you have that available already, great. If not, I would be happy to talk with you about strategies and methods, so that you can have the structure, and the payment system you are actually looking for.

- Kevin Johnson

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