Child support can be an extremely complicated matter for divorce cases. Guidelines often leave a non-custodial parent without the requirement to pay any costs for childcare and extracurricular activities. A court can, however, award the additional expenses in some cases. Income is typically taken into account on a case-by-case basis. If both parties have adequate financial resources, the non-custodial parent may be required to pay a share of the costs. It may seem logical that both parents pay for these expenses, but it is best to have expectations clarified in writing during the divorce proceedings. An experienced divorce lawyer can serve as an invaluable guide and resource to help ensure the best outcome for both you and your child.
These expenses are not usually included in basic child support awards. Some examples of enrichment activities include music or dance lessons, sports-related activities and enrollment in summer camps. It may not seem daunting to be responsible for $50 or $100 here and there; but when looking at the larger picture, it can easily become a bit overwhelming. On a monthly basis, extracurricular costs can add up to $500. Sports fees can be particularly challenging considering that travel expenses can cost up to $5,000 a year.
When considering these costs, you must also consider how decisions will be made regarding a child’s participation in such activities. One parent may feel that a child should only be allowed to be involved in a few activities, while the other parent wants to allow more. You can define “joint legal custody” to require that these types of decisions be made together. This will help to prevent one parent from making costly decisions about a child’s activities without first consenting with the other parent. Contact the expert divorce lawyers at Sherer Law Offices for guidance on such matters.
Childcare is another important factor to consider when defining financial responsibilities in a divorce case. The courts can rule specifically on this matter. It is extremely important to have foresight during the divorce proceedings to cover topics that may become troublesome issues in the future. Daycare is typically covered as a part of child support, but each case may present unique issues to consider. For example, if a custodial parent needs to work more or attend classes that may require a change in childcare needs, that should be addressed ahead of time. You will also need to agree on the age at which a child will no longer need daycare.
Summer camps are an issue that can cross between the lines of extracurricular activities and daycare. For instance, a local day camp may count as a form of childcare, but a four-week camp out of state would be considered an extracurricular activity.
We want to emphasize the importance of practicing forethought and diligence during divorce proceedings to minimize future disputes and avoid financial disaster. You should never sign a settlement without first consulting an experienced divorce attorney. The divorce lawyers at Sherer Law Offices are committed to protecting the best interests of you and your children in a divorce case. We can also help you legally revisit issues that may have been overlooked in a past divorce settlement. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
With practical and valuable legal guidance, you can spend less time worrying about how to pay for your child’s soccer fees and more time rooting for your star player during the game!