Your child is likely to take part in an extracurricular activity at some point in his or her life. Whether it is a lesson, course, or sport, you might wonder if you are obligated to pay those expenses alone. Alternatively, you might wonder if you could request payment from the non-majority timesharing parent for a fair portion of those activities.
When a couple divorces with children, child support is granted in almost all instances. With child support, the non-majority timesharing parent pays the majority timesharing parent a particular amount monthly to cover certain expenses. This value is calculated based on a particular formula that assesses both parents’ income, the age of the children, and associated costs. Sadly, extracurricular activities often become the center of contention for divorcing couples.
What is Extracurricular Activity?
An extracurricular activity is anything that a child does outside of school, but which the educational institution does not require the child to do. Some examples include Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts, dance lessons, sports, swimming lessons, horseback riding lessons, and so forth. These programs are not free, and some have extensive fees. However, if children are passionate about that activity, a parent might be inclined to let them participate. This participation, however, is considered extracurricular.
Special Circumstances Apply
While everyone values the idea of paying equally for extracurricular activities, not all courts feel the same. Unless there are special circumstances, you might not win the courtroom argument for extracurriculars as part of your child support obligation. Only under a special circumstance would a judge agree. Therefore, it is best if you and your spouse can agree to cost-sharing for these activities alone.
Extracurricular Activities Cannot Impact Parent Time
While your child is playing softball, you cannot purposely enroll him or her in an activity that takes the child away from the other parent’s time. In situations like these, the court takes them on a case by case basis. The judge would determine what is best for the child and each parents’ rights.
Speak with a Family Law Attorney About Extracurricular Activities and Child Support
If your child is in extracurricular activities, it is natural to want to include these expenses in child support. Speak with an attorney from Beller & Bustamante, P.L. to explore your options and see if you can include those costs in your child support. Alternatively, if you are paying child support for activities that you do not feel are fair, or you want to modify child support, our attorneys can examine your case and help you find alternatives. Schedule a consultation with our family law attorneys today at 904-288-4414 or ask us a question online.