How to Provide for the Kids Post-Divorce

By: Elizabeth Alterman, Special to
Published: May 7, 2012
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If you think providing for your children after divorce is basically about diapers, dentistry, and diplomas, you’re in for a life of surprises.

Whether you’re supporting preschoolers or those who have returned home after college, experts say preparing for any scenario and putting everything in writing is the best way to defuse potentially explosive situations in the future.

Helene Bernstein, a Brooklyn-based divorce attorney with more than 20 years of experience in family law, says even small items can cause big problems.

“Little things that couples argue about and they don’t think of is who pays for the children’s clothing? Does the clothing travel with the child? Who pays for the birthday gifts? They get expensive. When they’re little, they go to a lot of parties,” Bernstein says.

Other considerations such as orthodontia or therapy, should the child need them, are important to take into account. If a child is diagnosed with a medical condition, parents should think about how they would handle treatment and the possibility of unreimbursed medical expenses.

“When a child has attention deficit disorder a lot of people disagree on whether medication should be administered, and that’s a really big thing,” Bernstein adds.

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After our initial consultation, Helene immediately jumped into action and, in a few weeks' time, she and her assistant made more progress in my case than my prior attorney did in two and a half years!
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