Reasonable Expenses beyond Child Support


#1

Hello everyone,

I have a question in regards to the “extra” stuff that happens after child support payments. Currently, I receive a very small child support payment from my ex spouse each month based on the nc calculation. In addition, she pays 59% and I pay 41% of any other “expenses” that are incurred.

We have a child support agreement in place. Here is Paragraph 4 from that document.

“Beginning on January 1, 2012 and thereafter, Mother shall responsible for 59% of the minor children’s clothing, school few, school materials, school lunch fees, fees and expenses associated with sports and other extracurricular actives, car insurance, and other expenses related to the minor children’s upbringing and Father shall be responsible for 41% of the minor children’s clothing, school few, school materials, school lunch fees, fees and expenses associated with sports and other extracurricular actives, car insurance, and other expenses related to the minor children’s upbringing.”

Now, whether they need it or not, she will take them to the mall, spend 200$ on clothes and then “expense” it without discussing with me first. Her argument is that I have to pay 41% of clothes. For example, a dress was purchased for my daughter, and it was because she looked good in it. Please don’t get me wrong, I want my children to have nice things, but I don’t want my ex to be able to spend “carte blanche” and expect me to pay. 10$ for a pair of boxers from American Eagle for a 13 year old boy is ridiculous.

Since we have the agreement, what are my legal options? I want to uphold my legal responsibilities, but I also don’t want her going out and buying 200$ designer jeans for my daughter, and sending me half he bill.

Perplexed,
NCGriffins


#2

Is this a consent order signed by a judge, or only an agreement between the two of you?


#3

This is an order drafted by her lawyer, reviewed my myself and my lawyer and signed by a judge and filed with the courts.


#4

not an attorney

It’s a bit surprising that lawyers would draft and approve something so vague. I’ve heard of splitting orthodontia or medical costs, but those are fairly fixed. Seems like you should have said that you’d pay xx/year towards clothing or some of these costs rather than a percentage.

It’s a lesson for anyone drafting these types of agreements to really think about the wording and what they are writing. If it says to pay 1/2 of all school trips, there needs to be more specific language if you don’t want to be on the hook to pay for trips to Europe or Costa Rica. Could do this by saying that you’d pay 1/2 of all mutually approved of school trips, or pay 1/2 of all school trips up to $500/year (or something). Ditto on clothes - pay for a set dollar amount or a percentage of clothing expenses up to xx amount a year. Maybe specify that you’ll pay 1/2 of a prom dress, up to $200 or something…some girls are getting $1000 dresses, so I wouldn’t want to be on the hook for 1/2 of everything with no limits. Children’s camps and activities are the same mixed bag…people need to specify whether they are going to pay the occasional $150-200 team participation fee for area leagues or school teams vs. the thousands of dollars some travel teams or the area MAC swim program costs…lots of variables, and all of them need to be considered and outlined in an agreement.


#5

Unfortunately, not so surprising. Common statements are saying that all other expenses will be split between the parents as necessary. I’ve seen others end up posting on this list because one party or another has gone off and signed the child up for an activity that neither parent can afford, but the signor parent has decided that the other parent will pay for. There’s a fine line between wanting the best things for your child and wanting to stick it financially to the other parent, and so often certain parents use the former to justify what is in actuality the latter.

NOT AN ATTORNEY