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Divorce, child support and summer camp: Start planning now

Summer camp is almost certainly a rite of childhood for many -- and it can definitely enrich a child's life. Nowadays, there are summer camps that are designed around nearly every possible interest -- from plain old camping to computer coding, gaming, art, music and more.

But, for divorced parents, the cost of summer camp can be an issue. Not only is there the additional expense -- there are the inevitable negotiations with your ex-spouse about who will pay for what. Unfortunately, it's already time to start those negotiations -- because the end of the school year will be here before you know it.

Here is some helpful guidance:

Are you obligated to pay for summer camp?

Maybe. If your support agreement obligates you to share the cost of child care and summer camp is considered part of that child care, then you likely have an obligation. In addition, your agreement may stipulate your obligations toward your child's extracurricular activities (although you may have been thinking more along the lines of paying for half of your child's band fees at the time you made the agreement).

What can you negotiate aside from the main cost of the camp?

If you've never sent your child to a summer camp before, you probably don't realize the additional costs that go along with the price in the brochure. There are usually clothes that have to be bought, suitcases, shoes, toiletries, spending money for special events and more. You'll need to start hashing out the details of just what is reasonable -- given your financial circumstances -- with your ex-spouse as soon as possible.

If you're uncertain about your obligation and you don't agree with your ex-spouse's plans for your child's summer camp, now is a good time to talk things over with your attorney. Our office can review your child support agreement and consider the details of the situation to help you make the best possible plans.

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