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Which co-parent pays for summer camp?

| Jun 22, 2020 | Child Support |

If you share custody of your child with an ex-spouse, you each have a financial obligation to support the young one in your family. Usually, though, one parent makes child support payments to the other. 

In Arizona, judges consider both the needs of children and the financial resources of parents when ordering child support. Determining which parent is responsible for summer camp tuition and associated costs, however, may not be so straightforward. 

Identifying your child’s needs 

Arizona law specifically outlines the various expenses child support covers. Depending on the specific needs of your child, a judge may require child support for any or all of the following: 

  • Health, dental and vision insurance 
  • Childcare expenses 
  • Education costs 
  • Ordinary living expenses 
  • Emergency expenditures 

Paying summer camp costs 

With a variety of practical and social activities, summer camp is often good for kids. While the Arizona child support statute is silent on summer camp expenses, it is not hard to see why they may become part of a child support order. 

If your son or daughter goes to summer camp, the camp may be equivalent to childcare. Similarly, depending on the nature of the camp, it may also qualify as an educational expense. 

Exploring your options 

Rather than asking a judge to order child support, many co-parents choose to negotiate support payments. If you go this route, a judge is likely to defer to any bargain you make. 

If your agreement requires your ex-spouse to pay for summer camp, he or she can probably do so in a lump sum before the camp’s registration period. Alternatively, your child’s co-parent may be able to divide camp expenses into 12 payments he or she makes throughout the year. 

On the other hand, if you cannot reach an agreement, a judge may explore whether your child needs to attend summer camp. You may, therefore, choose to provide evidence that links your child’s specific requirements to the camp’s offerings. Nevertheless, whether through negotiation or a court order, you probably have some options for covering camp expenses.