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Manage Shared Expenses with Your Co-Parent in the UK

How to Manage Shared Expenses with Your Co-Parent in the UK

Money—they say that it can make or break a relationship. And everyone who has ever had to deal with difficult financial situations all know how true that can be. In the UK, a large number of divorced couples stated financial reasons as one of the main stressors that led to their divorce. And when you are parents, that financial stressors can follow you through to how you manage expenses as a co-parent.

Unfortunately, money, when you have kids, is not something that you can avoid discussing so why not learn how to manage shared expenses with your co-parent to make it as easy and stress free as possible. In this article, we will go over how UK co-parents can manage their shared expenses in easy and low conflict ways.

Tip Number One: Use a Mediation or Budgeting App

The first thing that is always recommended for managing any expenses is a budgeting app. I recommend that you go a step further and choose to use a mediation app with a built in expense tracker, such as 2houses. This will enable you to share what expense have been incurred and mark who has paid payments toward it. No actual cash goes through the app, that needs to be done outside the app, but payments can be marked on the expenses sheet to keep track of what the expenses were and what was paid into them.

A mediation app is really valuable because it helps reduce a lot of the tension around the conflict topic of expenses. You can look at what’s covered, what needs to be covered and you can simply add your part (either paying it directly to the expense or paying back your partner) to the expense and not have to discuss it in detail if it causes too many arguments.

Tip Number Two: Define Each Co-Parent’s Share

Once you have an app, sit down with your co-parent and look at the overall expenses. Kids come with a lot of expenses and its important to look at how those expenses are going to be shared. Most recommend that the expenses are shared in a 50/50 manner for every expense to help cut down on arguments if one parent’s expenses  end up being more at the end of the year.

When you are defining those expenses, be sure to be respectful of each other. You may have different ideas of what should be spent on certain things or what kids really need. A phone may not be something an 8 year old needs so if both parents don’t agree on it, the expense would fall solely on the parent who pushed for the phone.

Once you know what the expenses are, and how you are splitting up the share, you can really start to manage it by monitoring payments and expenses through a co-parenting app.

Tip Number Three: Define What is Over and Above Child Maintenance Payments

So, you have your list of expenses such as dance classes or soccer registration or even school field trips. But this isn’t enough. Many people are unsure what child support, also known as child maintenance payments in the UK cover. The answer is simple…the day to day.

What that means is that child maintenance payments, according to UK law, are used to cover the basic needs of the children. This includes food, shelter and clothing. How the payments are calculated rely on your individual financial situations and the level of income you had as a married couple.

It should be noted that basic needs does not cover all expenses. Extra curricular activities are not covered by child maintenance payments and will be over and above those payments. In addition, school uniforms and school trips are not basic needs and will be a shared expense that both parents will need to manage.

By defining what child maintenance payments cover, you and your ex-partner can better navigate managing those extra expenses that come up when raising kids.

Tip Number Four: Communicate and Break Down the Monthly Expenses

Management also relies on communication, which is why this tip is very important. For you and your co-parent to successfully manage expenses, you need to discuss them. This means looking at the monthly expenses and discussing them. If you have things coming up, you can set budgets on the max amount that can be spent. For example, if the kids need a new pair of school shoes, you can set the budget and, using a mediation app, send photos and price comparisons of the shoes that the kids want.

Communicating leads to having input on how your money is being spent and helps prevent any frivolous expenses that the kids really didn’t need.

Tip Number Five: Plan Ahead and Save for Emergencies

The final tip that I recommend when you are managing your shared expenses is to sit down and plan ahead. First, there are a lot of things that parents can plan for and that you know will be coming. For instance, if the kids play soccer in the summer, you know that every spring you will have extra expenses for soccer registration, uniforms, cleats, and so on. The same can be said for school trips, or camps the kids are going to throughout the year.

When you plan ahead, you can discuss with your co-parent what expenses are coming up, if the kids are looking at new extracurricular activities or when there will be expected expenses, such as a new pair of glasses, you can manage those expenses more easily by saving for them.

In addition, I recommend saving extra money if you are able to for those emergencies that can happen. Having those savings can help reduce a lot of anxiety and tension from the co-parenting relationship and from your financial worries.

Managing shared expenses doesn’t have to be difficult, especially if you are using the tools that are available for you, such as a budgeting app. You and your ex-partner can manage your expenses without a lot of conflict or tension and you’ll know that your kids’ needs are met all of the time.

Why 2houses?

We are a co-parenting facilitator!


A calendar for everyone, getting organised when you’re divorced is a priority. 2houses provides you an online shared schedule, with many editing, adding, and sync features.


For us, as divorced parents, the financial topic is most of the time a conflict topic. Now, 2houses manages all expenses from each parent, keeps you informed on the situation, day after day, coins after coins.


Communication is key, this is why 2houses offers you an online messaging tool, simple, efficient and secure.


The journal is your quick family social network. You can easily share all information, news, photos, videos, and even your children’s funny quotes. The family is never far away, no matter where you are geographically located.

And many more features!

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