Nobody said that raising children was cheap. While we have child support in Texas specifically to help with raising children and addressing their financial needs, even maximum child support at times does not address the “extras” that many of my clients think of as the “essentials.”
So, while the primary parent fights so hard to receive child support and to have the majority of possession time with his precious child, sometimes it feels like the parent who is paying child support gets away with a much better deal.
Just like the credit card commercial:
Prom dress? $200
Manicure for prom? $30
Daughter’s hairstylist for prom? $80
Dad telling teenage daughter that “her mother gets child support to pay for these things” and then refusing to pay?
We live in an age where children start with music classes at age 3, little league baseball at 5, and piano lessons at 6. Consequently, it is hard to explain to my clients that if they want a better life of enrichment, attention and excellence for their kids, they need to pony up the cash to do it without help from the other parent. Even when this means that 100% of their child support is being used to pay for daycare expenses, child support does not cover the “extras” that I outline below.
The following is a list of examples of the “extras” one might contemplate when negotiating a divorce decree to split with the other parent so that your children can have more opportunities. While courts will not mandate the parent paying child support to provide any of the below “extras,” when clients analyze the amount of child support that they may receive, I highly recommend contemplating what child support does NOT include under the Texas Family Code.
For younger children:
- Afterschool care
- Nannies or babysitters
For school-age children, extracurricular activities including:
- School photos, yearbooks
- Registration, uniforms, equipment and fees of sports
- Select sports, traveling teams, club teams
- Private lessons, i.e., music, voice, dance, tennis
- Musical instruments rental or purchase fees
- Recital fees, costumes
- Enrichment camps
- Academic tutoring
Later in life high school and post-high school ventures:
- Your child’s first car; car insurance
- College funds
- Wedding funds
Even if your working spouse was providing for these things when you were married, they are not covered by child support under the Texas Family Code.
The Law Office of Natalie Gregg
(972) 829 – 3923