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Can I ask for more child support to pay for school supplies?

We hope our readers had a fabulous Fourth of July holiday weekend with their family and friends. It is interesting how in stores the offerings quickly change from fireworks and barbeque grills to backpacks and school supplies. Indeed, the presence of back to school items may be disconcerting to kids and teens, but it is a reminder of what is to come in the weeks ahead.

With a new school year to begin in about a month’s time, there are certain to be new expenses for kids, including extra-curricular activities, new clothes and tutoring. For custodial and non-custodial parents alike, the added costs can be significant adjustment. Unfortunately, they can also mean that disputes over covering these costs can arise. 

Frustrated parents may want to seek court intervention through a child support modification. However, before filing such a motion, it is important to know what child support entails and whether such a request would be successful. 

Essentially, child support is intended to compensate for the basic needs of a child, including food, shelter and clothing. Court ordered support does not normally compensate for the additional expenses that come with extra-curricular activities, such as sports leagues and piano lessons, unless it is specifically ordered. In these circumstances, the court will make specific findings addressing any deviations from Texas’ child support guidelines to accommodate these needs.

So if your child wants to play football and there are surcharges for uniforms, and additional related costs, there are a number of questions to answer before seeking a modification of child support. Nevertheless, there may be ways that parents can come together to resolve financial issues related to a new school year without litigation.

If you have additional questions regarding child support, an experienced family law attorney can help. 

Source: Family.findlaw.com “What does child support cover

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