Texas moms and dads know all too well that the cost of raising a child goes beyond providing just food, clothing, and medical care. The cost of extracurricular activities, private lessons, or even entertainment is something that most parents just cannot get out of. As such, people are often surprised to discover that these things are not always included in a child support order.
Child support differs from parenting time in that it is intended to provide the ‘essential” items required to raise a child to adulthood. There is a fine line between what is considered necessary and what isn’t. However, courts generally determine that the cost of day care, school photos, sports uniforms, and summer camps are additional expenses that a non-custodial parent is not required to cover.
So-called extra expenses are not mandatory, even if the noncustodial parent previously provided for them while the couple were married. As such, it is important for individuals to determine what if any additional expenses they might be required to pay for out of their own pockets. Making a post-divorce budget can help people to determine which things they might be able to afford and which ones might have to be eliminated.
Parents who are ending their marriage need to know what the law provides for in the way of child support before signing their divorce papers. In many cases, certain additional expenses can be negotiated in a parenting agreement with the help of their respective attorneys. Those who are having difficulty collecting support or who are in need of post-divorce modifications may often benefit from speaking with an attorney as well.