Q&A: School Related Expenses

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Question: The school year for students is quickly approaching. Still tracking down school supplies? As parents of school-age children know, stocking up on clothing and notebooks — and even things like iPads and laptops — can be quite a project, not to mention a substantial expense. Separated or divorced parents often wonder if they are shouldering too much of the burden. Who is supposed to pay for all of this stuff anyway?

Answer: This is dependent on the divorce decree. Many times, a custody agreement will say that you have to pay child support but that you also have to pay one half of any extra fees such as extracurriculars or other school related expenses. Let's not lose sight, rather, that this is your child. If you are able to pay then you should want to pay to see that your child gets the best possible education. Child support is the bare minimum that you are ordered to pay as it takes both parents to support and raise a child. There will always be incidentals that come along with raising a child such as uncovered medical expenses, school expenses, extracurricular fees, etc.