Child Support & School


#1

My ex and I have an 11 year old son and child support was ordered at the age of 3. We both have joint legal and physical custody, however, he primarily resides with me and goes to dads (step-moms) house at scheduled time (laid out in the consent order).

Just to give you a little background before I ask my question.

At the time the child support was ordered, I was basically a stay at home mom but they did use what I had previously brought home in the calculation. I then started doing a paper route, just to make some extra money to care for my son. Nothing close to what I used to bring home. I have never once taken my ex back for any type of modification to the child support. This past summer, my ex finally agreed to allow our son to play sports (specifically football). He has put out $325 for the football and 2 additional camps. I have put out $35 for one of the camps and $443 for all necessary gear. Then his father also agreed to allow him to play the trumpet in band. I am putting out $1062 ($43 a month for 38 months) to rent to own this instrument. I asked absolutely nothing from him for this and band is part of his daily school schedule.

I went this past week to his middle school orientation (while they were vacationing at Disney World for a week) and got a list of supplies and was told about PE uniform cost, lock for his locker (that must be bought through the school), a specific book that needed to be bought for his AIG class, book for band, technology fee and having to buy a bag to carry the school assigned computer in. After buying all the basic school supplies, the lock, AIG book, book for band and the computer bag - I paid out a total of $135.

I sent them an email to explain everything that had to be bought, including all fees. I explained everything that was already bought and asked if they could pay the technology fee and uniform for PE fee (Total of $40). The response I received this morning was - That needs to be bought with Child Support. However, he was not going to school when the child support was ordered.

Now to my question:

Should all these fees, supplies and everything else be bought with the little bit of child support that I receive? OR Should these fees be shared? What exactly is Child Support suppose to cover? It is not outlined in our consent order.

Thank you in advance for your response to this question.


#2

The child support guidelines do not definitively answer who should pay for fees and expenses such as the ones you described in your post. It is the general rule that the parent with custody should pay for things for the child while in his or her custody such as small school expenses. It is also customary for the court to address additional expenses such as medical expenses and costs of extracurricular activities in the order. If your order for support does not address these things, you should consider filing a motion to modify child support since it has been 8 years since the order was entered.