How are Support Payments for Extracurricular Activities Calculated in Illinois?

How are Support Payments for Extracurricular Activities Calculated in Illinois?

By: Gordon & Perlut, LLC

As a parent, you want your child to have the tangible things they need to succeed in life and the types of experiences that can help make them happy, well-rounded people. In many cases, this means enrolling them in extra-curricular activities.

Unfortunately, if you are a divorced or single parent, paying for these activities can end up proving challenging. The Chicago child support lawyers at Gordon & Perlut, LLC., explain how these costs are calculated in Illinois and how they can be included in your child support payments.

The High Costs Of Extracurricular Activities

Parents often complain about how much time their children spend inside, sitting in front of the television, computer, or cell phone. Extracurricular activities are often a better use of their time, providing exercise, socialization, and fostering skills that will serve them well in life and on college applications. Among the most popular extracurriculars include:

  • School or community-sponsored team sports, such as football, basketball, soccer, or tennis.
  • Individual sports and athletics, such as track, gymnastics, and weightlifting.
  • Cheerleading and dance.
  • Creative arts, theatre, and music.

Most of these programs come at a cost. Program fees, equipment, instruments, or other supplies, and traveling to other towns for competitions can all put a major dent in your budget. According to a Pew Research study, children who engage in extracurricular activities are generally more likely to come from higher-income families who are able to pay the costs.

If you are a single parent or struggling to make ends meet after a divorce, this can be discouraging. Fortunately, our Chicago area child support lawyers can help you get extra-curricular activities included as part of your child support payments.

Calculating Child Support For Extracurricular Activities

Parents have a moral obligation and a legal duty to provide for their children. In Illinois, an income shares model is used to determine child support in cases where parents are not living together. The formula for calculating the amount owed involves:

  • Calculating the income of each parent.
  • Determining the number of children for whom child support is owed.
  • Using a standardized table to determine basic child support obligations.
  • Use worksheets to determine the amount each parent is required to contribute.

This formula provides for the child’s basic needs and living costs, but the Court can require each parent to contribute to the cost of extracurricular expenses, in addition to regular child support.

Request A Consultation With Our Chicago Child Support Lawyers

Extracurricular activities can enrich your child’s life and often benefit them for years to come. In some cases, they turn into lifelong hobbies. In others, they form the basis for future careers. In either situation, your child should not be denied the opportunity to participate in extracurriculars simply because the other parent is unwilling to pay.

At Gordon & Perlut, LLC., we can help in having funds for these activities included as part of child support payments. To discuss the options available, call or contact our Chicago child support lawyers and request a consultation today.