Busy parents have never-ending responsibilities and managing them can be challenging. In addition to helping the children with schoolwork and keeping them safe and sound, many children are involved in extracurricular activities, which take up time and cost money. Some activities are more expensive than others, especially when there is equipment, such as hockey uniforms or travel costs for out-of-state games. Certain states do not include extracurricular activities in child support agreements, but many single parents can benefit from understanding how these costs can be contributed to the agreement.
Divorced and separating parents should discuss any extracurricular activities before signing their children up. Drafting and signing an Extracurricular Activity Agreement can help ensure that the best choices are made, which can include specifications as to how the costs will be covered.
Parents should take into consideration whether it affects one of the parent’s custodial time, since this could be a point of contention. Each parent’s schedule could be affected by the timing of the activities, which includes game time and transportation. Other things to discuss include the pros and cons of the activity. For example, if a child has poor grades, an involved activity may be ill-advised. Over-scheduling a child can also affect their grades and may be too much for everyone to handle. The child’s best interests should always be paramount.
Child support payments are designed to provide for the child’s housing, food, and other basics. These funds are regularly used for additional expenses, such as healthcare, school, and other costs concerning extracurricular activities. Certain children may require a private tutor after school, or karate classes to help them with self-defense. These situations may call for exceptions, and are decided in court. In certain states, courts can order additional child support to the base figure for certain education and extracurricular costs. An Extracurricular Activity Agreement can specify how the costs will be shared and which items will be included.
Custodial parents are not required to show the non-custodial parent how the child support payments are being spent. Therefore, a parent that requests extra support for extracurricular activities could be using it for their own needs. A non-custodial parent that is concerned about this should contact a divorce lawyer to discuss their options.
Extracurricular activities can enrich your children’s lives but covering their costs can be difficult. Monmouth County child support lawyers at Fox & Melofchik, L.L.C. can help you explore your options and make the best decisions for your family. For a free case evaluation, complete an online form or call us at 732-493-9400. Our office is in Eatontown, New Jersey, and we represent clients in Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County, Mercer County, Ocean Township, Fair Haven, Eatontown, Red Bank, Tinton Falls, Shrewsbury, Middletown Township, Wall Township, Sea Girt, and Spring Lake.