Will Child Support Cover Extra-Curricular Activities?

If you’re a parent who is getting a divorce, soon you’ll be learning all about child-related expenses, and how they’re addressed in a divorce. Which ones are covered by child support, and which ones are not?

You know, who pays for braces, who pays for medical insurance and co-pays, and who pays for their school clothes in the fall. At the top of the list of questions, who pays for the extra-curricular activities?

If you’ve ever had to pay $300 for a violin or $500 for a cheer uniform, you get this one. It’s an important question, and whether you’ll be paying or receiving child support, you’ll want to know if child support covers the costs of extra-curricular activities.

What qualifies as an extra-curricular activity? We’re talking about voluntary activities that a child participates in outside their school’s academic curriculum. These activities may take place on the school grounds, or elsewhere.

Examples of extra-curricular activities, include but are not limited to:

  • Volley ball
  • Soccer
  • Football
  • Orchestra
  • Tennis lessons
  • Karate classes
  • Art classes
  • Dance lessons
  • Acting or modeling classes
  • Swimming
  • Gymnastics
  • Cheer
  • Lacrosse
  • Voice lessons

Most parents agree that their children reap great rewards – emotionally and educationally – by gaining an exceptional skill in athletics or the arts through extra-curricular activities.

Sometimes a child will excel so much in a chosen discipline, that he or she will earn a college scholarship, which can save tens of thousands in college tuition or student loan debt.

Generally, parents are responsible for paying for their child’s extra-curricular activities. Such costs can involve monthly tuition, uniforms, shoes, sporting equipment, costumes, and annual registration fees, and travel to competitions or sporting events, which can cost thousands of dollars per year.

Does child support cover these costs?

If your child is enrolled in extra-activities, you should know that child support does not cover these costs. Rather, you and your child’s other parent will pay for these activities according to your divorce agreement.

Typically, the parents agree to split these costs, but the parents can agree to other terms if they choose. If you need further information regarding child-related expenses or child support, contact Cutter & Lax to speak with a Board Certified family law specialist!