My spouse pays child support for our child. Can I ask him to contribute towards the expenses incurred for the child’s activities?

March 7, 2017

One can ask the other person to contribute towards the child’s activities. However, whether you could force them to contribute or not depends on an interpretation of the law in this area. To force them, one would have to commence a court proceeding. In the court proceeding, the question would be asked as to whether these activities are “extraordinary.” In other words, are the additional expenses beyond what one would expect a family that has that total family income to pay. If they are not extraordinary, then they are to be paid from the basic child support payment.

 

To be extraordinary, they must meet the first test of being outside of what the family of that aggregate income would have child be involved in. If they are outside of the ordinary expenses, than they are extraordinary. However, they must also be “reasonable” extraordinary expenses.

 

A way of resolving these questions is through discussions, which may occur during a mediation process. Parties can agree to do things that are different than the law would impose, and they can reach agreements to give certainty to questions which might go one way or the other in terms of a court ruling. If they engage mediator, since these are financial issues, they should engage a “comprehensive mediator,” skilled and trained with financial questions, and thus a good candidate would be a family lawyer/mediator.  Our firm has family lawyer/mediators that can assist you in this process.

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