How are expenses not identified in the decree divided?

Question: What are the reponsibilities of each parent for paying for extracurricular activities, such as dance lessons and martial arts training?

If these expenses are not identified in the separation agreement, how are they divided?


Answer: First, I must preface that I do not practice in your jurisdicition.  You should contact an attorney licensed in North Carolina to discuss your case in detail.  Cordell & Cordell has attorneys licensed and located in North Carolina who would be happy to help.

The first step is to review your divorce decree and to determine whether the agreement has a provision controlling this situation.  Your agreement may say “variable expenses,” which may include extracurricular activities.  Your agreement may provide a definition of variable expenses which would provide the answer to your question.

If your agreement does not include any provisions relating to extracurricular expenses and you enroll the children in the extracurricular activities, you should go in not expecting to be reimbursed.  This is not to say that the other parent will not eventually be responsible for half of the expense.  Either of you can petition the Court for a modification for reimbursement from the other parent for half of the expense.  Your attorney should be able to discuss what the Judges in your jurisdiction take into consideration when ordering who should be responsible for these expenses.


Erica Christian is an Associate Attorney in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. She is licensed to practice law in the state of Wisconsin. She is a member of the Wisconsin Bar Association, the Family Law Section and the Children’s Law Section.

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