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Law Offices of John A. Guthrie - Family Law Attorney

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Determining who pays for children’s activities after divorce

For the children of divorced California parents, reaching for a dream can be very difficult. For example, gymnastics and other sports often have expenses that need to be covered, such as coaching fees, lessons and even equipment. These expenses only rise as a child reaches higher levels. However, the child support guidelines may allow for a portion of the child support award to go towards these costs.

In most child support guidelines, there is a small allowance that is earmarked for “entertainment.” The money for basic activity costs may come out of this portion. However, reaching higher levels can mean more costs. For example, a swimmer who is reaching for the Olympics may have several thousand dollars in coaching fees, swimming outfits and travel costs each month. In these cases, the child support guidelines may allow support for “gifted” children.

This does not mean that a judge can force a parent to have to resort to taking out a second mortgage on their home to pay for these activities. Certain factors are still taken into account when determining child support in these types of instances. These include each parent’s income, whether or not the child was already participating in the sport prior to the divorce and the child’s demonstrated commitment to the sport.

There are many factors that determine child support payments that a non-custodial parent will be required to pay. However a family law attorney may assist with negotiating a child support amount that would help the custodial parent pay for the child’s schooling, shelter and any accelerated activities the child may be involved in. The attorney may go to court to help with enforcing the order if the non-custodial parent misses a payment or refuses to pay.

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