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Who pays for extracurricular activities after divorce?

On Behalf of | Nov 28, 2021 | Child Support |

If you are going through a divorce, you may worry about how the end of your marriage may affect your children’s academic performance. Your fears may be valid, according to a UCLA-led study. The study found kids with divorced parents tend to have lower high school graduation rates. They are also less likely to attend college.

Participation in extracurricular activities may be the solution, as extracurricular activities help children explore their interests and solidify what they learn in classrooms. Because these activities can be expensive, you may wonder whether you or your ex-spouse must pay for them.

No legal obligation

When calculating child support, a judge is likely to use a formula that focuses on the non-custodial parent’s average monthly net income. The purpose of child support is to provide for the needs of your kids. While extracurricular activities are often valuable to children, they are not usually necessary. Therefore, neither you nor your ex-spouse may have a legal obligation to pay for extracurricular expenses.

Your custody agreement

Even though Texas law has a streamlined formula for calculating child support, it does not prohibit you and your ex-spouse from negotiating an agreement. That is, the two of you may determine who pays for extracurricular activities on your own.

If you pay more than your required child support, it is important to expressly earmark excess funds for extracurricular pursuits. After all, if your payments go to a child support agency, the agency may consider unclear overpayments to be simply for future child support and not to cover your children’s activities.

Ultimately, addressing payment for extracurricular activities early in your divorce negotiations may ensure your children do not have to sit on the sidelines.