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What if my child support order doesn't include extracurriculars?

Recently, divorced parents in New Orleans put the first week of back to school drama behind them. They may even have a sigh of relief knowing the school bus is picking up the kids at the right place, handing off with the other parent is going smoothly and the children seem to be settling into their routine. But then come the notices asking about extracurricular activities and the questions begin flying again. Who will pay for the activities and associated costs?

In an ideal situation, the child support order included the breakdown of these costs. A detailed judgment would include which activities the child participates in and how those costs would be divided between the parents. If nothing else, at least the award would include a way the parties would come to the decision regarding extracurricular activities if not included in the order.

But the rush of finalizing the divorce and the child support award can often cause people to overlook certain matters and others may appear so far away that divorcing couples don't even contemplate them. This means couples may once again find themselves at odds with one another, with one parent approving activities the other does not support and is not willing to finance.

Since most divorces end with a 50-50 split, couples often divide the costs of schools, lunches and clothing between them. This means child support payments are calculated to include these financial obligations. To avoid disputes about other matters, such as after-school activities, parents can decide that they both must agree on the activities their children will partake in and then divide the cost between themselves. Finding a solution quickly and efficiently can avoid bitterness between the parents and is in the child's best interests.

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