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Who pays for a child’s extracurriculars and college post-divorce?

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2022 | Child Support |

Caring for a child requires a lot of time when they are small and then a lot of money when they get bigger. The older a child becomes, the more they seem to demand financially from their parents. A 5-year-old wants toys and fun family trips, but a 15-year-old asks for hockey equipment and a brand new smartphone to keep in touch with their friends.

Extracurricular activities and higher education, in particular, could cost thousands or tens of thousands of dollars a year for each of your older children. Who pays for that when parents share custody after a New York divorce?

Child support can cover many kinds of expenses

The parent paying child support may fund extracurricular activities or college savings with their contributions. The parent receiving support can set at least some of the money aside for future expenses or use it to pay for sports and other extracurricular costs.

In many cases, child support in New York will continue until a child turns 21, with means that support payments will persist through much of their college education. The state does not have the authority to order additional support after a child turns 21, even though they may still depend on their parents for all of their cost-of-living expenses because they are full-time students.

Sometimes, one parent can offer a little more to help to cover extra expenses. Unfortunately, extracurricular activities and educational expenses may not be enough to justify a state-ordered increase in child support if the parent paying doesn’t agree to the change.

Parents can agree this is something beyond state-ordered support

Sometimes, parents in New York negotiate their own child support arrangements that specifically address expenses like college tuition and extracurricular costs. You might agree to split all costs or to split them pending a review to ensure that they are reasonable.

The point of child support is to ensure a good standard of living for the children even after divorce. Rather than arguing about those expenses, divorced parents can find a way to cooperate and keep the focus on what the children need now and in the near future. Learning the rules that govern child support in New York will make negotiations easier when you divorce.