By: Jennifer R. Silva, Esq.
With children returning to school for a new school year, they will be returning to their many extra-curricular activities, as well. While negotiating a divorce agreement, it is important to address the allocation of these child-related expenses. The financial ability of each parent should be examined in order to determine the appropriate allocation of extra-curricular activity expenses, which may be significant depending on the activities in which the children are involved.
It is likely that a Judge would determine that it is in the best interest of the children to continue participating in the activities that they were involved in prior to their parent’s separation; assuming that continued enrollment is financially possible after the divorce. Additionally, as the children grow, they may be interested in new activities and the parents will have to address the appropriateness of their participation in these new activities after the divorce. There are many ways to handle the allocation of these expenses, which should be specifically outlined in the terms of the divorce agreement. For instance, the parents could share the expenses equally or disproportionately. Alternatively, the parents could agree to “cap” each parent’s financial contributions towards these expenses or “cap” the number of activities for each child.
In order to avoid conflict, it is beneficial for the parents to communicate in advance of registering the children for activities in order to agree upon the children’s enrollment and the sharing of expenses. In fact, many divorce agreements require such advanced communication and agreement of the parties in writing (e.g. email) prior to enrolling the children in extra-curricular activities. However, it is important that any such agreement is not unreasonably withheld, conditioned or delayed, as doing so would not be in the best interest of the children.
Jennifer Silva is the senior associate at Mavrides Law with her practice focusing on divorce, paternity, child custody and support. To speak with a lawyer about divorce or other family law matter, contact Mavrides Law in Boston, Newton, or the South Shore. To schedule an in-depth initial consultation, call 617-723-9900 or contact the firm at firstname.lastname@example.org