A child support agreement is supposed to contain all the expenses necessary for the wellbeing of a child. In reality, however, unforeseen expenses can always crop up and necessitate additional funding. Such costs are termed as extraordinary expenses, and below are some of the factors the court will consider when determining whether an extraordinary expense is really necessary:
The Child's Needs and Talents
You cannot be expected to buy all the things in the world for your child, but you are expected to provide them with the things they need to excel in their talents. For example, if your child is a talented piano player, you are expected to provide them with opportunities to improve their talent. This may involve buying a piano and or enrolling them in piano lessons.
Another thing the court will consider is whether the child was involved in the activity before your separation. Your child should not suffer or lack something due to your separations. Therefore, if they use to go to piano lessons when the two of you were together, those lessons shouldn't stop after your divorce.
Best Interest of the Child
Whether or how the activity is benefiting the child will also be considered. This means you will not be required to pay for something that the other parent wants but is using the child to demand. For example, you cannot be expected to pay gym membership fee for a child who is healthy and gets their exercise from regular sports in school and is involved in lots of outdoor physical activities. This is especially true if the child has no interest indoor physical activities. However, you may be required to pay the gym fees if the child, who lives a rather sedentary lifestyle, has diabetes and needs guidance and supervision with their physical activities.
Your Expense and Spending Patterns
Lastly, the court will not be immune to your overall financial status. Your income, needs, and spending patterns will be analyzed to see whether you can afford the extraordinary expense. For example, you may not be expected to buy an expensive piano if your finances are already stretched thing and you are struggling even to pay rent and child support. However, the court will order you to buy one if it has analyzed your finances and it's convinced you can afford it.
This analysis can save you from unnecessary expenses if you have an ex-partner that is always asking for increased "child expenses." If push comes to shove, a family lawyer can help you disapprove such requests in court. For more information, contact companies like Ivy Law Group PLLC.