HOW ARE SUMMER CAMP EXPENSES HANDLED WHEN THE PARENTS ARE DIVORCED? – Baby Custody Authorized Blogs Posted by Gerard F. Miles
With the summer months approaching quickly, the children will soon be leaving school. In some households, children will turn their attention to summer camp. Summer camp can be fun and exciting for a child. It’s the opportunity to see certain friends again or to indulge in certain activities like swimming, boating, and other crafts. For parents, the experience may not be as fun because of the cost. For divorced parents, things can be even more complicated.
In terms of who has primary financial responsibility for summer camps, this is not so clear-cut. There are several factors that go into this decision, including how the court classifies summer camp and whether there is a provision for summer camp in the parenting plan. When summer camp is a necessity, it is usually shared between parents. Those struggling to find a solution to funding their child’s summer camp may have to take their complaint to court.
When is the summer camp classified as childcare?
There are two main aspects to child custody. Custody refers to the actual physical location where the child will primarily reside. Custody refers to the person who will make the important decisions in the child’s life. If the parent who has custody of the child works and needs childcare, the court will classify the summer camp as an extension of childcare and can be included in the parenting plan. Child care is considered necessary until the child reaches a certain age.
Once the child has reached this age, they no longer need childcare and the caring parents cannot claim the summer camp as a necessary expense. That means, if you want to send the child to the camp, you have to pay for it out of your own pocket. They can still use part of the child support payments they receive from their ex-spouse. However, you cannot ask the court to intervene and request additional child support payments.
Which parent decides whether the child will go to summer camp?
Parental divorce creates a comprehensive parenting plan that outlines numerous medical, educational, and religious decisions about the child. In this plan, the couple can arrange summer camps. If they don’t, they may have to revisit the plan.
The simplest action is to reach an agreement on the camp during the divorce process and decide how the parents will pay for it. If you specify exactly when the child is going to camp and who is responsible for it on the parenting plan, future issues will be resolved.
What are my options for negotiating camp lessons?
The parenting plan is a blueprint for how parents will raise their children in the future. It should contain the plan that covers the child’s education and that covers various expenses including summer camp. This is the most comprehensive way to determine parameters for custody in Maryland. The problem is, at the time of the divorce, the child may not have wanted to go to summer camp. There is also the possibility that the summer camp may just slip through the cracks in arguing or negotiating about other aspects of the parenting plan.
When these circumstances arise, the ideal situation is for the couple to sit down and try to mutually negotiate their plan to send their child to summer camp. If the couple can find a sensible solution on their own, they can avoid having to choose a more formal situation like the court. This also allows them to move on with their plan quickly, ensuring that the child’s plan to go to camp is not delayed. This works best when the couple has an open and functioning relationship for the benefit of their child.
How should I deal with a non-cooperative ex-spouse?
The ex-spouses may have neglected to include summer camp in their parenting plan and they may not be on the same page. This can make negotiating the summer camp more complicated. However, a parent owes it to their child to exhaust all communication channels. It starts with the first step that you contact your ex-spouse directly. If those attempts fail or the other parent does not respond, the custody parent can take that person to court.
If a parent makes regular child payments and then pays the additional cost of summer camp tuition, they can request a break from child support payments. You can request the court to temporarily suspend these payments for a few months while you pay the tuition fees. Parents should be warned not to take upon themselves to stop payments without the approval of the court. If they do so without the permission of the court, it could result in a charge of contempt. These charges could face severe penalties, including imprisonment.
If one parent decides to send their child to summer camp, they must notify the other parent. Even if the other parent does not approve of the child attending the camp, the parent should know. A court will not appreciate it if one parent makes these types of decisions without first informing the other parent.
When should I talk to my ex-spouse about summer camp?
Talking to an ex-spouse about the prospect of summer camp should take place as soon as possible. A spouse knows the relationship they have with their ex-spouse and the likelihood that they will agree to help pay tuition fees.
Parents should be willing to pay the tuition money in case they have to wait for a persistent ex-spouse or the courts have to make their decision on the matter. Regardless, the best interests of the child should be paramount to both the parents and the court.
Bel Air child custody attorneys at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC are helping parents determine who should pay for summer camp costs
Shortly before the summer months, you need a financial plan that you can use to pay for your child’s summer camp. The Bel Air custody attorneys at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC can help you work with your ex-spouse to develop a plan that fits your budget and schedule. Call us at 443-589-0150 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. Based in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we serve customers across Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Colombia, Freeland, Hereford, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville and White Hall. Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.