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Extracurricular costs and child support calculations

When a divorce is finalized in Missouri, including the child support order, many parents may believe that is the end of the family law legal issues they will face before moving on with their lives. But then school starts, and so do the extracurricular activities, bringing about the question: who is going to pay for the activities and the material associated with them?

With courts moving towards a 50/50 split in costs, each parent becomes equally responsible for their children's upbringing. In an ideal situation, the child support agreement outlines the breakdown of these financial obligations. Generally, primary custodians are responsible for the cost of supplies, clothing and school lunches, but support payments should also factor in these costs.

To ensure things go smoothly, divorced parents can take a few steps post-divorce, before the school year begins. Firstly, reviewing school schedules together and agreeing to discuss school activities can go a long way in preventing resentment by one parent. Both parties might want to stipulate that they must both agree to the activity and then share its costs.

Once again, in an ideal situation, such items should be included in the judgment of the divorce. The more detailed the judgment, the better for the parties, as it leaves little to be argued later on. At the least, the judgment should include language reflecting the fact that the parties should work these items out, and if they cannot, certain default provisions shall prevail.

Figuring out what to include in the child support order along with the basics can be difficult and complicated for couples who just want the process to be over. An experienced attorney can ensure that all the essentials are included in the calculation of support to ensure minimum disagreements in the long-run.

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Joseph J. Porzenski
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