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How to keep track of the child’s finances

Parents, whose children live in two homes, have a responsibility to cooperate and find common ground when it comes to the child’s financial needs. Therefore, it is important that the parents can communicate about money and the child’s needs together.

In this article Magnus Hjelmér, economist at ICA Banken, answers the most common questions about the child’s finances and needs after a separation.

Summary of How to keep track of the child’s finances at the bottom.

Discussions about money can easily lead to conflict. Therefore, it is important to always put the child’s best interests before everything else. A basic rule is to never count crowns and pennies. The important thing is to make sure to set basic rules and a division of costs that feels fair to both of you. You also have to be flexible and check in if something changes along the way. For example, if any of you receive a higher salary.

How can we distribute the costs between us?

There are many things that come into play here, including income, how much time the child lives with each of you and new family constellations. For example, if I earn much more than my co-parent, I think it is reasonable for me to pay a larger part of the costs for our child. Make sure it is clear how you reimburse each other for expenses – right away or once a month?

Should we compensate each other for vab?

If a parent has taken a larger percentage of the month’s vab days (care of sick child), it can hit the salary hard. One suggestion is that the other parent reimburses some of the days with an amount per day that you agree on in advance.

What can we do if the child lives with a parent more than agreed?

My advice is, again, to try to take a step back and see it in a larger perspective. If the number of days is going to even out over six months or a year, I think it is better not to demand compensation in the short term. If it has not evened out, despite the fact that some time has passed, you need to have a new conversation about how the child should live going forward and if the financial distribution needs to be adjusted.

Should we have a joint account for expenses or not?

An account that both parents have access to often simplifies everyday life and necessary purchases. There, the child’s allowance can be deposited and the weekly or monthly allowance deducted. Whether you choose such a solution or make expenses separately, it is important to reconcile the expenses in advance. Both parents need to know where the money goes. You also need to agree on acceptable costs. Does the child need a set of wellies in each home? Or can the child wear the same wellies all the time with both parents? And what is a maximum price for the winter boots? Here you need to find common ground, there are no shortcuts.

If we can’t collarborate on the economy how can we go on?

If it is too complicated to find solutions on your own, please e-mail Varannan Vecka at

It is also possible to seek help through familjerätten at the municipality. More information about the distribution of children’s costs can also be found on the Swedish Social Insurance Agency’s website.

Summary – How to keep track of the child’s finances

  • A basic rule is to never count crowns and pennies.
  • Reimburse the parent who has “vabbed” a lot during the month.
  • If the child lives more with a parent for a while, wait and see if it evens out over time. If not, agree on a new division.
  • Agree on costs and expenses for the child in advance: “How will we spend the money? What costs can we accept?”
  • Ask for help if you get stuck! E-mail to or contact the family court in your municipality.

Magnus Hjelmér