Gumm & Green, LLP, Attorneys at Law
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Which co-parent pays for extracurricular activities?

Now that school is in full swing, the young one in your family may plan to play sports, join a dance group or participate in some other type of extracurricular activity. Because these endeavors can be pricey, you may wonder whether you or the child’s other parent bears responsibility for covering extracurricular expenses. 

Many benefits come with participating in activities that are not part of the normal school curriculum. Not insignificantly, a well-rounded student may be more likely to compete successfully for scholarships. If your parenting plan or custody agreement does not mention who covers the cost of extracurricular activities, though, you may have some options. 

Child support funds 

If you receive child support, you should use the funds on child-related expenses. Extracurricular activities generally fall within this category. Still, you likely cannot compel a co-parent to pay more in child support to cover the costs of outside activities. 

Voluntary payment 

You may have had a fantastic experience going to camp, playing a sport or joining a club. If you want your child to have a similar experience, you may ask him or her to consider following in your footsteps. Typically, the parent who suggests involvement covers associated costs. There is usually no harm in asking a co-parent to voluntarily chip in, however. 

Necessary support 

Sometimes, extracurricular activities are essential for the health or well-being of children. For example, your child may have a medical condition that improves when he or she swims. If so, you may be able to convince a judge to order the child’s co-parent to pay some or all the associated expenses. 

With the many advantages of participating in extracurricular activities, you may want your son or daughter to take up a hobby or two. By understanding which co-parent must pay for outside activities, you can better plan for keeping your young one engaged without breaking the bank.

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