Now that warmer weather is quickly coming and school is going to be out, many families are planning on sending the children to summer camps throughout New Jersey. For many families, this is a yearly summer rite of passage. However, with parents who have gone through divorce, questions often arise as to who is supposed to pay for the extra expenses such as summer camps. Child custody lawyers face this question all the time from their clients.
If Summer Camp is Considered Daycare
In some cases, summer camps are used by families as a type of daycare because both parents work. With some families whose parents both work full time, their children have to use daycare all the time. In those instances, the parents split the cost of daycare normally. When it comes to placing youngsters into summer camps and using that to take the place of normal daycare, both parents should split the cost of the summer camp. The camp tuition should be a factor in the child support award and order. Assuming the parents cannot come to a voluntary agreement about the cost of the camp, the lawyers and courts would have to get involved to make the decision.
If Summer Camp is Considered Extracurricular Activities
With some families, summer camp is not considered daycare but considered extracurricular activities. With these families, the children do not normally use daycare of any kind. Again, with things that involve extra costs that are not normally covered by the child support award and order, such as the cost of summer camp, the parents should discuss the issue and attempt to come to a voluntary agreement. If this cannot happen, another option is to have the parents meet with an experienced family law lawyer to discuss the issue and try to keep the parties from having to go to court. Obviously, going to court would require extra legal costs and time and should be avoided, if possible.
Letting the Judge Decide is Risky
With family law issues such as who pays for summer camp, it is always a risk to have the judge make the decision. It is always a safer bet to come to a mutually agreed on decision that both parties can accept. Many things come into play with an issue such as this:
- How expensive is the summer camp?
- Can either the custodial or non-custodial parent afford to pay their share of the expense?
- Has there been any salary changes that would prohibit a parent from being able to afford the cost of extracurricular activities?
- What is the history of the children attending the summer camp, i.e., is it a yearly occurrence that is expected to happen each summer?
- What type of educational benefit, if any, will the children be able to experience?
All of these issues and many more will come into play if the matter gets to the court level and the judge has to make the decision.
The lawyers at Burnham Douglass can assist in these support issues and as well as other financial issues in New Jersey. If you have any questions or issues with child custody, child support, or divorce, we are available to assist. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 856-751-5505 or contact us online. We have offices in Marlton and Northfield, New Jersey, and proudly serve clients in New Jersey, Camden County, Burlington County, Atlantic County, Gloucester County, and Mercer County.