Who Pays for Extracurricular Activities?

October 15, 2021
children playing soccer

One issue that often causes arguments amongst divorced parents is who is responsible for paying for extracurricular activities for the children. If both parents agree, then it will not be a problem. However, what if one parent refuses to pay for the extracurricular activity? Can that parent be forced to pay for something they think the child should not be doing?

In some cases, the court order that sets forth the amount of child support one parent has to pay will also order the parents to split the cost of various agreed upon extracurricular activities. If the proposed activity is not already covered by a court order and one parent refuses to pay their share, the only option for the other parent is to take the matter to court.

This creates a tough predicament for the parent. The parent should get advice from a knowledgeable lawyer.

Past History of Participation Helps

One thing that helps is if the activity is something that the child has done in the past on a consistent basis. For example, if the child has gone to karate lessons for years and wants to continue those lessons, it will be hard for the non-paying parent to argue that the child should not attend. Generally, judges lean toward favoring the child being able to participate in extracurricular events. However, there are some exceptions.

If the child does not show an interest in the activity, the non-paying parent can use this to support their argument. Also, if the non-paying parent can demonstrate that the cost of the activity has increased to a point where it is not currently feasible given the parent’s finances, a judge might not order the activity to be paid.

Another argument to use against paying for the activity is that it might interfere with the child custody and visitation schedule. Parents need to remember that visitation might be different during holidays.


One option that the parents can use before taking the issue to court is mediation. If there is a third party that can sit down with the parents, sometimes, a compromise can be made. Utilizing the services of a mediator will be quicker than taking the issue to court.

Media Divorce Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Help Clients Solve Issues Regarding Extracurricular Activities

If you are having issues with the payment of extracurricular activities, you need our dedicated Media divorce lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. We will use our decades of experience to help you resolve these issues. Call us at 610-565-3701 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation today. We are located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, and we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.