Paying for Extracurricular Activities in a Divorce
The payment for extracurricular activities is generally agreed to by the parties. In my experience, both parents really do have the best interest for their children at heart and they know what’s important to the child and what’s not important to the child. If it’s a sport or activity that the child really enjoys, they can generally work that out and we do put it into the agreement that the extracurricular activity will be shared by the parties in that case. I like to put in an additional provision in the agreement that the extracurricular activity has to be agreed upon by the parents in writing by email prior to either party committing to the expense. The reason for that is two-fold.
One is the timing of the agreement is noted by the time of (inaudible) and the amount of the expense that the other party or both parties agreed to is noted in the email and so that generally saves a lot of finger-pointing later when someone seeks to enforce payment for the extracurricular activity. If however the matter is contested, meaning one parent wants the other party to pay the extracurricular activity and the other party doesn’t want to pay the extracurricular activity, that is you can go to the judge. The outcome of that is really discretionary with the judge. The judge will look at the relative incomes of both parties, that’ll look at how long the child has been participating in that activity, how important it is to the child to continue to participate in that activity and what the reasons are that the party is objecting to paying for the extracurricular activity.