Perhaps when you and your spouse divorced, your child was still learning how to ride a bike. You weren’t considering the cost of the wedding they’re now planning as you negotiated your child support and other agreements.
Maybe you’re beginning the divorce process at a time when your adult child’s wedding is on the horizon. Either way, they’ve asked for a little financial help with the cost. So how do you determine how much you’ll each contribute without it turning into a battle that’s only going to make your child wish they hadn’t asked for help or put a damper on what should be a joyous time in their life?
The wealthier parent doesn’t have to pay the most
If you’re the one with fewer financial resources, it may seem obvious that your co-parent should pay for most, if not all, of the wedding. But what if they don’t see the need for a lavish ceremony or believe the young couple should pay for it themselves?
One certified financial planner notes that “the actual division of contributions should be based on what each parent is willing to contribute, no matter what their resources may be.”
More money shouldn’t mean more influence
If one parent contributes the bulk of the money for the wedding, they may believe they have a say in where and when it happens, whom they can invite and more. Countless movies have been made about this scenario. No parental contribution should come with so many conditions that the couple feels like the wedding is no longer theirs.
If you’re still in the process of divorce where you’re working out various agreements, you can address your child’s wedding expenses in one of them. If your divorce was years ago, you may find it helpful to use mediation to work out an agreement regarding the division of expenses. Either way, as always, the focus should be on your child’s well-being. So talk with them first to determine what they want or need from you.