Many households are dealing with the costs that come with a child returning to school. In addition to back-to-school clothing, many teachers send home school supply lists. If your child decides to play any sports or join any groups, these back-to-school costs can be even more expensive. If you and your spouse are no longer married, who is responsible for these costs?
What Does Child Support Cover?
Child support is intended to cover the basic needs of a child, including food, clothing, and shelter. Another category, called miscellaneous, does cover other costs like school supplies and books. While some school-related costs, like private school or college expenses, may be ineligible, most other costs are included.
How to Calculate Your Child’s School Expenses
It’s not always easy to come up with a value of your child’s school expenses, especially when they vary and most of the costs occur up-front. Coming up with a budget, or estimation can help both parents stay on track and know what to expect when it comes time to buy their child’s school supplies.
Calculate all necessary costs for the whole school year. Then, divide these costs by 12 to get an idea of how much should be allocated monthly in child support. Parents may need to discuss certain costs and whether they are a necessity or not. Child support is designed to help children cover these necessary costs. Parents, however, may decide to come up with a separate agreement to cover any other costs their child may need, or want.
When to Work With a Child Support Lawyer
If your spouse is making it difficult to collect the child support payments your child is entitled to, or they are adding on extra expenses that shouldn’t be covered, it may be beneficial to discuss your case with a lawyer. Even long after your divorce is over, you may need to re-discuss and adjust child custody agreements.
This is because a child’s needs and expenses change often. Additionally, a child’s school costs may also change with age. A younger child may not have as expensive of school costs as a child who participates in multiple sports at the high school level. Preparing for these costs ahead of time can help you and your ex-spouse know what to expect.
How a Divorce Lawyer Can Help
Asking your ex-spouse to increase their payments to accommodate school costs, or questioning what your spouse is really spending the payments on, can be difficult. Divorce often brings with it a lack of trust, which can make it difficult to handle these types of important conversations.
This is why it may be a good idea to work with a divorce lawyer. You might also have questions as to what specific costs are included in child custody payments, and which are not. What you pay now, or don’t pay, can also set expectations for other school years to come. Now is the time to figure out these costs and budget properly to ensure you and your family can have a smooth school year.
Contact a Cherry Hill Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Child Support in New Jersey Today
If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at Cordry Hartman LLC represent clients throughout the state, including Cherry Hill, Moorestown, Evesham Township, and Mount Laurel. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at 856-452-4474 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 505 S Lenola Rd Ste 224 Moorestown, NJ 08057.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.