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Colorado Springs Child Support Lawyer: Does Child Support Cover Extracurricular Activities?

Monday, 24 May 2010

blog-logoTypically, the custodial parent assumes that all expenses related to raising a child are included in child support.  Unfortunately, as they soon learn, this couldn’t be further from the truth.  As a Colorado Springs child custody lawyer, I am repeatedly asked to petition the court for an increase in child support on behalf of my clients.  Most of these requests revolve around unforeseen expenses, such as piano lessons, soccer camp and dance classes.  Oftentimes, the custodial parent wants their child to attend overnight camp, or take part in a school-sponsored excursion.  However, these expenses and many other entertainment related costs are not included in Colorado’s basic child support calculations.

Colorado Springs parents who seek an additional financial award from the non-custodial parent must be prepared to face opposition.  I see many non-custodial parents who refuse to pay any more than the “bare minimum” amount of support, and they often get away without paying their fair share.  Interestingly, these same parents often revel in their child’s success as a musician, athlete, or valedictorian, and even take credit for making it happen.  By and large, it is the custodial parent who not only “makes it happen” financially; they also provide transportation, purchase supplies, and encourage their child along the way.  It is no wonder so many custodial parents are shocked to learn that they cannot force the other parent to contribute.

In some cases, when the parties have sufficient resources, a court may ask the non-custodial parent to contribute toward extracurricular and enrichment activities.  And there are certainly some non-custodial parents who are happy to share the costs without a court order.  However, if the financial resources aren’t there, then the court will rarely include these costs in a child support award.

If you are seeking reimbursement for a portion of summer camp, athletic training, music lessons or other Colorado Springs typical activities for your child, the best way to go about getting it is by hiring an attorney.  As a Colorado Springs child support lawyer, I know the family court system well, and will know just how to petition the Colorado Springs court for additional child support.

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