My child is 16, participates in club soccer, takes saxophone lessons, is involved in school clubs, plays high school soccer and takes AP classes. These are all activities she has routinely participated in for a long time. I am trying to determine if these types of expenses are part of the basic child support or is child support designed for a roof over her head, food in her mouth and clothes on her back. I would like to include something in our divorce decree to have these expenses split between her dad and me but need to know if child support is supposed to cover these. Her dad is reluctant to consider them separately since he thinks the amount of child support from the calculation based on salary covers these. We aren’t divorced yet but going through the process.
Child support is intended to cover all the needs of the children. In that regard it encompasses food, shelter, clothing and the like. When it comes to extra-curricular activities such as the ones described, there is no statutorily required way to handle the expenses. In cases where there is an existing order and the child is subsequently enrolled in an activity, generally speaking the child support will be all that is legally required from the other parent, unless they voluntarily want to contribute to those extra-curricular expenses. However, in the case described, since support is still being established, you can request, and the Court can order, that the other parent pay some or all of the cost of the activities. How much the other parent will be responsible for would depend on a number of factors including his/her income, his/her proportionate share of your combined income, and any disparity in income.