Mediation allows the parties to come up with creative alternatives. Some parties will split the add-on expenses equally; some will decide to pay for the expenses in proportion to their income; some may choose to elect one person to pay 100% of all or some of the add-on expenses so that they are not constantly requesting reimbursement for expenses incurred and/or providing proof of payment to the other person. There are many variations for payment that can be considered and agreed upon by the parties during the mediation process.
The following is a list of Add-on Expenses that should be considered in your divorce mediation:
(a) Unreimbursed medical expenses;
(b) Extracurricular activities including, without limitation, any equipment, gear, paraphernalia, etc. for such activity [ex. Sports, music, art];
(c) College, including without limitation, tuition, room and board, and spending money;
(e) Glasses/ Contacts;
(f) Summer Camp [day camp, sleep away camp, travel programs]
(g) Cell Phone and future cell phone bills;
(h) Car and Car Insurance, including cost to obtain license and driver’s education classes;
(i) Babysitting/ After School Care/ Tutoring/ Private school;
(j) Birthday Parties/ Communions/ Bar – Bat Mitzvahs/ Sweet Sixteen’s/ Prom/ Weddings
In your mediation, each of the above items, among others, should be discussed in determining how payment for each “Add-on” expense will be allocated and what may work best for the parties. Maybe it is simpler for one person to pay for braces and glasses and the other to pay for childcare. Maybe it works best for the parties to lower the amount of child support one person will pay in exchange for that same person paying 100% of the add-on expenses. One person may want to negotiate keeping 100% of their pension in exchange for paying 100% of the add-on expenses for the children.
During the mediation process, it is helpful to consider all extra expenses that may arise in the future and how they may be apportioned to the parties. Once an agreement is reached in the mediation, it should then be subscribed to writing so that there is clarity for the future.
Mediation offers the parties the benefit of discussing and finding creative solutions that work for their situation, rather than a formulaic approach decided by a Court.