Does Your Child Need Extra Financial Support During Back to School?

Back to school is in full swing. Parents are busy shopping for new clothes, school supplies and paying class fees for band, choir and other extracurricular activities. If you’re paying child support, you may believe it covers school-related expenses; however, that’s not always the case.

So what should you do if, after paying this month’s child support, you receive an email from your ex-spouse asking you to pay for football uniforms or new clothes? This scenario may make you wonder what your child support payments actually cover.

Child support is based on your child’s ordinary living expenses, but this amount can greatly increase during back to school time. Laws about what is included in child support vary by state, but generally, extracurricular activities and educational expenses are not included in child support unless specifically stated in the settlement agreement.

While child support payments are used to help the child sustain a standard of living near what it was during the marriage, extra money could be needed during financially burdensome times, such as back to school. According to, the recent average school supply spending per household increased to $501.

It’s in the best interest of the child for divorced parents to work together, especially during the back to school season. By collaborating together, you can share the financial burden so your child is able to have what they need for the school year.

If you are concerned about the extra money needed for school supplies, or how much you should give in addition to your regular child support payments, it’s wise to seek the advice of an attorney.