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Who Pays for Summer Camp when Parents are Divorced?

With summer here, you might be looking into activities for your child, and summer camps are a great option. It gives your child something fun and engaging to do while ensuring someone is watching over your child. However, summer camps can be costly, and for divorced families, it might be complicated trying to decide who will pay for the camp.

Both parents should try to agree to a payment arrangement amicably. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. If you have a child support agreement in place, expenses like summer camp may be already included. However, what if it is not included? Who pays then? We answer these questions and more below.

North Carolina Child Support Guidelines

The amount of child support required is based on North Carolina’s Child Support Guidelines. This is a formula that considers each parent’s income, the child’s health insurance costs, daycare or childcare costs, or any other extraordinary needs the child may have. This information is put into a calculator, and then an obligation amount is generated.

Child support payments are supposed to go towards the children’s:

  • Monetary support (food, clothing, shelter)

  • Health insurance

  • Educational expenses

Courts can deviate from the guidelines and award more or less child support if they can be persuaded that either a parent’s ability to pay or the child’s extraordinary expense needs more or less child support. An extraordinary expense is an expense that is not already covered in the child support agreement and is necessary because it’s in the child’s best interests. These expenses can include therapy, special or private school needs, extraordinary medical fees, and transportation costs associated with the child traveling from one parent’s house to the other.

Which Parent Will Pay for Camp?

Parents should try to work out an agreement together to determine who will pay for summer camp, outside of court. However, if they cannot agree, getting a court-ordered child support agreement might be the best option. When the courts determine initial child support costs, the custodial parent, or the parent who typically receives child support, can argue that summer camps are work-related childcare costs. This means camp would be comparable to a parent having to utilize after school programs or babysitters during the school year. If this is the case, courts might consider calculating summer camp expenses into child support.

Parents who currently have a child support agreement should examine their plan and see if any extraordinary expenses are included in the costs. A common problem in this situation is that parents sometimes forget about including expenses, like summer camp, in their agreement until the situation comes up and it’s time to pay. In this case, parents can look into modifying their current child support order. In order to do this, they must provide evidence showing there is a major change in circumstances.

How We Can Help

Child support cases are complicated, especially in North Carolina. When it’s time to determine how your child’s summer camp will be paid, Epperson Law Group, PLLC is here to help you determine or modify your child support order. Our experienced Charlotte attorneys ensure that your rights and interests will be protected throughout the whole process.

Contact our expert child support lawyers today at (704) 200-9278.