Your finances are a little different now that you’re divorced. While you’d love to give your child the sun, the moon and the stars on a platter, you can only afford so much. Your child support payments already take a pretty hefty chunk out of your paycheck every month.
That makes the bill you just received from your ex-spouse a big shock. They want to your child to participate in a remote-learning “e-camp” or some kind of extended-stay camp this year so that they stay occupied over the summer — and you’re being asked to pay half the cost.
Do you have to do it? Maybe. Here’s what you should probably do next:
1. You need to review your child support agreement.
With some luck, you had the foresight to address extracurricular activities — and the division of costs. If you did, the issue may already be settled.
2. Think about your position.
Is your ex-spouse’s position justified? Spend some time thinking about how the request (or your refusal to pay up) would sound in court. Is the e-camp a mere luxury or is there some reason your child really needs to participate? Is the extended-stay camp purely for entertainment or is it standing in lieu of childcare services for the summer? If there’s a reasonable basis for the request, you may want to consider negotiating an agreement about the bill.
3. Find out more about your rights.
If your ex turns demanding and you don’t see the expense as justified, it may be time to talk the situation over with your attorney. If the situation escalates and your ex demands a modification of child support in court, you want to be prepared.