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Divorce mediation may involve splitting children's expenses

The dissolution of a marriage is never truly easy to experience either emotionally or financially. However, it can be particularly difficult for those who have children -- and especially if their divorce takes place around the beginning of a child's school year. The question of who covers a child's expenses during the school year can easily become a major source of conflict during divorce mediation or at divorce trial in Pennsylvania.

The noncustodial parent -- the parent who does not receive physical custody of the children -- can expect to pay child support to the other parent for basic necessities, such as clothing, food and shelter. However, what about other unforeseen expenses? For instance, two divorcing parents must figure out how to cover additional expenses such as school supplies for their children and extracurricular activities, such as band and sports, or even for events such as homecoming.

In some cases, divorcing couples agree to divide all expenses down the middle. Meanwhile, others decide to divide them in a manner that matches their respective income levels. Still others decide to list their children's expenses and then determine which parent gets to cover which expenses.

If two spouses in Pennsylvania can find common ground when it comes to covering their children's expenses post divorce, they may benefit from going through divorce mediation or negotiation rather than going through traditional divorce litigation. However, if they cannot resolve their divorce issues on their own, they must depend on a judge to resolve these issues for them. In either scenario, an attorney will strive to ensure that a spouse's rights and best interests are protected during the divorce proceeding.

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