Children often look forward to the warm weather months and fun summer activities. Often, parents fulfill their children’s wishes by signing them up for summer camp. However, parents who have gone through divorce may be unsure whether they can afford summer camp. Some parents with child custody and child support agreements will wonder who is responsible for summer camp expenses.
Deciding which parent pays for summer camp depends on if the camp is acting as a day care service. If the parents are using the summer camp while they are working, the activity might be seen as a necessity during divorce proceedings. This means that related expenses will likely be split by both working parents. The costs will be calculated into the overall child support award. The expenses will be based on rates of summer camps and how much the child will attend the activity.
If the summer camp is an extracurricular activity, payments will be handled differently because it is not labeled as a necessity. Parents should discuss the expenses and if they should be split. Typically, the non-custodial parent does not have to contribute to entertainment-based costs if it is not in the best interests of the child. If parents cannot come to an agreement, a judge will determine if summer costs are reasonable and whether the non-custodial parent should contribute to the expenses. A decision is based what is in the child’s best interests.
How Much Do Summer Camps Cost?
Many people believe that summer camp costs are inexpensive and conveniently priced; however, these expenses can be high. The amount of the summer camp costs depends on several factors, such as what activities are included and the size of the facility. Summer camps might have horseback riding, pools, rope courses, slides, and even climbing walls. Overnight camps and camps that are out of state are likely more expensive.
The American Camp Association estimates that the average summer camp costs between $199 and $800 each week. An overnight camp might amount to $680 to $2,000 per week. Divorced parents will likely struggle come up with these costs on their own, so it is imperative that they figure out a financial plan if it is the child’s best interests.
Advice on Co-Parenting During Summer
Ideally, a parenting plan that has information about summer activities will be in place before the warm weather begins. Expenses for these activities should be included when the plan is first developed. Sometimes, a child will not want to attend camp at the time of their parents’ divorce. If this is the case, matters can be discussed later and modifications can be made if necessary.
Parents should work their best to have open communication so that they can successfully co-parent in summer. Some helpful co-parenting tips include the following:
- Have open and honest communication. Parents should frequently update each other on summer plans, especially if activities are out of state.
- Have a plan for unexpected expenses. It can help to discuss likely scenarios and how to solve them.
- Discuss money problems. If one parent cannot afford a summer activity, they should discuss this with the other parent.
- Put the children first. Ultimately, both parents must make their children’s best interests a priority.
In some cases, parents cannot reach an agreement on child support matters and summer camp expenses. If this is the case, a parent should speak to a lawyer about their legal options.
Media Divorce Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Help Divorcing Parents Figure Out Summer Camp Expenses
The Media divorce lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. help parents reach decisions on child support and other divorce matters. We understand that unexpected expenses can arise in summer, and we can help you with your parenting plan. Complete our online form or call us at 610-565-3701 for an initial consultation today. We are located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, and we assist clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.