Teen years mean “…all sorts of new costs”

The divorced parents of teenagers very often come into conflict and disagreement about the expenses associated with their children in these years. Divorce parenting means paying for a third or fourth computer for the children’s other home. And parents, particularly divorce parents who may feel twinges of guilt about the situation, are particularly vulnerable to the maneuverings of the adolescent children who want everything in sight.

It is easy to see how an enterprising teenager can pay one parent against the other when Mom says no to the iPhone and Dad say well, maybe…

These expenses are not small, and they easily exhaust normal child support payments.

Parents know that children are expensive to raise and parents do not look upon their offspring the same way they might a business expense. Nevertheless, divorcing parents should realize that their children become more expensive as they move into adolescence, and that the expenses are seldom covered by negotiated child support arrangements. “[P]rom expenses, cheerleading, sports gear, cars and car insurance, allowance and college visits and applications,” says a California Morgan Stanley Smith Barney financial analyst, are only a few of the items that add up to “…all sorts of new costs.”

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