Are Back-to-School Expenses Included in Child Support?

September means sending the kids back to school and that can be expensive. There are the expected costs, like new clothes, and all those school supplies kids need to have. And then there are those unanticipated school expenses like sports and other activity participation fees, musical instrument purchases or rentals, tutoring, and extracurricular classes, to name just a few.

Typically, child support is intended to cover all of the general costs related to a child’s health and well-being. However, unless your settlement agreement specifically addresses how these unexpected additional costs are going to be managed between you and your soon- to- be former spouse, it can be a source of great distress for the parent receiving child support who is then left to try and navigate how all of the expenses are managed.

Making decisions about these kinds of financial matters before you finalize your divorce can go a long way in reducing conflict between the two of you as well as reducing the conflicts that so many children experience when their parents are no longer together.

It is best to work through a mediator and/or divorce financial planner who is trained to guide you through this sticky process to identify potential extraordinary child-related expenses and help you reach an agreement as to how these expenses will be allocated between parents.

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