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Child Support Plan & Childrens Checkbook: Sample Language

June 2008

This document is an addendum to the article If They Can Do Parenting Plans, They Can Do Child Support Plans by Stephen Erickson

Child Support Plan & Children’s Checkbook: Sample Language

CHILD SUPPORT: Deviation from Child Support Guidelines/No exchange of support:

A. Method of Sharing Children’s Costs. Husband and Wife have agreed to an arrangement for sharing the costs of raising their children that calls for itemizing all expenses related to the children and

OPTION 1: sharing these costs on a pro rata basis according to their gross incomes.

B.  Amount of Support: Each will contribute and pay child support towards the below listed expenses of the children by depositing funds into a children’s checking account each month.  Husband earns ___% of the parents’ combined gross income and therefore will deposit the sum of $_____ each month.  Wife earns ___% of the parents’ combined gross income and therefore will deposit the sum of $_____ each month.

OPTION 2: sharing these costs equally.

B.  Amount of Support: Each will contribute and pay child support towards the below listed expenses of the children by depositing each month into a children’s checking account the sum of $_____.

The joint checking account will be exchanged each time the children are exchanged (or each will have a debit card for the account) and the parent who is caring for them will have the use of the checkbook for the authorized shared expenses to be paid from the checking account as outlined below:

Children’s Monthly Budget

Expense Item

(Estimated Monthly Cost)

Paid by Mom  Separately

Shared using Joint Checkbook

Paid by Dad Separately

Food and Groceries

125

 

125 

Lunches at School

 

78

 

Eating out

50

 

50

Clothing

 

100

 

Medical Insurance

 

(Thru Mom) 121

 

Uncovered Medical Expenses

 

25

 

Prescriptions

 

12

 

Eye care

 

15

 

Therapy & Counseling

     

Uncovered Dental Expenses

 

12

 

Orthodontia

 

150

 

Gas/Oil Oldest Child’s car

 

45

 

Maintenance & Repairs

 

50

 

Auto Insurance

 

120

 

License

 

7

 

Recreation/Entertainment

75

 

75

Vacations/Travel

50

 

50

Personal Care Items

 

25

 

Hair Care

 

10

 

Child Care

 

475

 

Tuition

     

Books/Supplies

 

10

 

Allowances

 

25

 

Non-School Classes/enrichment

 

45

 

Sports Fees

 

35

 

Piano Lessons

 

55

 

Pet Expenses

 

10

 

Gifts

 

15

 

TOTALS:

   

 

Each parent will pay separately for food, recreation, entertainment and travel expenses, which will not be deemed to be shared as a part of the joint checkbook arrangement.

From time to time and at least once every 12 months, the parents will meet and review the budgeted expenses for the children.  At such review, they may add new categories of expenses and they may revise current expenditure levels. Upon a substantial change in their incomes, they shall also change their pro-rata contributions to the account.  Should the unused balance reach $2,000, or should there be a shortfall in the checkbook for a period of two consecutive months, both agree this will trigger an automatic review the expenditures for the children.

OPTION 1: At the yearly review, they will also exchange income verification upon a request by either.

OPTION 2: In February of each year, they will exchange W-2 income verification or tax returns in order to adjust their pro-rata contribution towards the children’s checking account. Should there be any dispute about what their current gross income is, they will submit the dispute to __________________, C.P.A. (or some other mutually agreed-upon C.P.A.).

Husband and Wife agree neither will spend from the checkbook for items other than the above categories authorized.  Should there be extraordinary expenses for the children that are unusual or not anticipated and not part of their projected expense costs, they agree to first meet and discuss whether or not to incur the expense and if they agree, the item will be paid for them from the joint account.  They agree that for the first year, Husband will receive the bank statements and will balance the checkbook.

In the event they change their equal time sharing schedule or in the event either one of them believes the checkbook arrangement is no longer workable, either may return to mediation or to court to request a different child support exchange arrangement following the Minnesota Child Support Guidelines.

C. Duration of support.  Husband and Wife will be responsible for the financial support of their children until each child reaches the age of 18 years, enters the Armed Forces of the United States, is emancipated, self-supporting, or deceased, or until each child reaches the age of 20 years if the child is still attending secondary school, or until further Order of the Court.  Appendix A, describing the conditions for child support withholding, cost of living increases in child support, and other matters, is attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference; however, in any respects in which the terms of Appendix A may be inconsistent with the terms of the agreement as reflected in Judgment, the terms of the agreement and Judgment will prevail.

D.  Cost of living increases.  There will be no cost of living increases in child support as they will have a yearly review of expenses as part of the Children’s Checkbook  agreement.

E.   Daycare support.  Husband and Wife will be responsible for the daycare or latchkey expenses of their minor children through the use of the checkbook.

F.  Uninsured expenses.  Uninsured medical, dental, and optical expenses of the children will be paid from the Children’s Checkbook  account.

G.   Extraordinary expenses.  Before arranging for any elective uncovered health-related procedures, both will agree on the procedure before assuming the other parent will share in the costs of the procedure.