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Covering all the bases during child support negotiations

For those in Massachusetts who are negotiating a divorce, the sheer number of decisions that must be made can be overwhelming. It is easy to overlook things during this hectic time, and it is rare for an individual to emerge from a divorce feeling as though he or she truly covered all the bases. One thing that is often left out of child support discussions are the additional expenses that children incur as they move through adolescence.

When kids grow older, the activities that they participate in come with a higher cost than when they were small. This is true in regard to school activities as well as extracurriculars. For families that have one or more children who are actively involved in these opportunities, the costs can quickly become a financial strain.

Consider, for example, a teen who excels in math and science. She participates in several academic competitions throughout the year, all of which require travel, program fees and other expenses. She is also invited to attend a prestigious summer camp on a college campus, which will cost several thousand dollars for a two-week session. These are all expenses that support enrichment and academic success, and most parents want to be able to provide those opportunities for their children.

Standard child support payments, however, may not be sufficient to cover these costs. Parents need to have a plan in place for how to handle the additional expenses that come as kids grow older. In some cases, both will agree to simply split the cost. Other families will group activities, and one parent may cover academic expenses, while the other might pick up the tab for athletic pursuits. No matter how the agreement is structured, those Massachusetts families that address this issue early will have an easier time once those costs come into play.

Source: khou.com, "9 things you should do after a divorce to save your finances", Janet Berry-Johnson, Jan. 19, 2017

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