Who Should Pay For a Child’s Extra-Curricular Activities?
When parents end their relationship or decide to divorce, their responsibilities to their children do not end. They are still obligated to ensure their children are safe and taken care of- financially, physically, and emotionally. Parents should try to afford their children the opportunity to engage in extracurricular activities they participated in pre-split. Just because parents separated does not mean children must bear the burden. However, parents should exercise diligence when determining the affordability of such activities. Parents should try to work together to determine whether the activities are still in the budget. If parents have shared legal custody, they should also work together in making the decisions on these activities together and not in any way to undermine the other.
Due to the increasingly high costs of extra-curricular activities, parents may disagree as to who should bear the cost. New Jersey does not have any requirement that a non-custodial parent pay for extra-curricular activities. However, these activities may be accounted for in the support calculation on a case-by-case basis. Since the unfortunate reality is that divorces or splits from relationships can decrease disposable income, parents should try their best to share the costs of these activities for their children, so long as the costs are reasonable. In the end, it may be a good idea for the parents to contribute equally to extra-curriculars for their child or children instead of arguing who can afford it more.
If you are having any issues with child support, you should consult with an attorney. An experienced family law attorney can help you understand your rights and help guide you through any legal remedies you may have.
The Law Office of Toby Grabelle, LLC is a family and divorce law firm serving Monmouth County and all of New Jersey that would be happy to assist you in legal counsel. If you need quality legal services, contact the firm for a consultation.