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Court-mandated child support and school expenses

When Pennsylvania residents think about what child support covers, they tend to think of anything a child may require while he or she is still a minor. However, court-ordered child support is set to only assist in paying for the necessities of the child — in other words, food, clothing, shelter and medical expenses. With school starting all over the country, some may be surprised to learn that school-related costs do not fall under the necessities umbrella.

With the advances in technology these days, paper, pencils and erasers are just the beginning of the school supplies a child needs. A recent report claims that parents can expect to pay approximately $600 per child for supplies and other school-related expenses. If one or both parents cannot or will not help cover the costs, the child could be left behind in his or her educational and supplementary pursuits.

In addition, there are the extracurricular activities of sports teams or clubs, where very few cost nothing to participate. Many former spouses who are able to be active in the lives of their children will at least come together to discuss what, if any, of these expenses they can handle. Sometimes they choose to split the cost down the middle, or they may use a ratio comparable to the one used for medical bills.

As in all child support and custody issues, what is best for the child is the approach former spouses should take. Using a child as a pawn in a financial battle only ends up hurting the child. Pennsylvania parents who are experiencing complications either paying or receiving child support will want to contact a professional who will be able to advise them of their rights and obligations.

Source: wtop.com, “How much should divorced, separated parents pay in back-to-school costs?“, Neal Augenstein, Aug. 29, 2017