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Who Pays for Extracurricular Activities After Divorce?

As a parent, you want your child to have every opportunity in life. This includes the opportunity to do extracurricular activities.  Unfortunately, sports and other hobbies that kids participate in can be very expensive. If you are divorced or separated, you may want to ensure the child’s other parent chips in to help pay. soccer-or-baseball-1531255

Determining who pays for extracurricular activities after divorce can be complicated.  The answer to who pays is going to depend upon your child support order, whether the extracurricular activities is considered a special need for your child, and whether the other parent agrees to contribute or not. An Irvine child support lawyer at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can help you to determine who should pick up the bill for extracurricular activities and can provide assistance in helping you to make an argument that the other parent should help pay for the things your children like to do.

Who pays for Extracurricular Activities After Divorce?

Typically, if one parent wants the child to participate in extracurricular activities after divorce, that parent should be the one who pays for the cost of the activity.

One parent may be required to pay child support to the other, depending upon parental income, the number of children, and how a child’s time is spent. The parent receiving child support can use some of that money for extracurricular activities, since the parent receiving the support has discretion to determine how the money is spent.

However, when the standard California child support formula is used to determine the amount of support due, the courts usually do not take extracurricular activities into account. In other words, if your child participates in an expensive activity, the courts are not likely to order the other parent to pay more support because of it. There could be an exception to this under some limited circumstances, such as if the activity helps the child with a medical condition.  If the activity is considered a special need your child has, the court may factor it in when deciding on the amount of child support due.

You and the other parent of the child can also decide you want to include provisions related to paying for extracurricular activities in a divorce or parenting agreement. If you both negotiate to split the costs, you should incorporate this agreement into your divorce, parenting, or separation agreement to ensure it has legal weight in case either parent changes his or her mind later.

If you cannot get the other parent to agree to pay, and if child support is not increased to provide extra funds for the activity, you will need to pay for it yourself.

An Irvine child custody lawyer will help you to negotiate with the other parent to try to come to an agreement or can assist you in trying to convince the court to factor the extracurricular activities into the support calculations under appropriate circumstances. To learn more about how an Irvine custody lawyer can help you to get the funds necessary to allow your child to continue participating in activities, contact Brown & Charbonneau, LLP today.