With summer rapidly approaching, many parents are scrambling to enroll their children in camp. For separated and divorced couples, the question often arises – who pays for camp?
Like many issues in family law, there is no hard and fast rule with regards to the payment of camp. Numerous factors will be considered in determining whether: (a) camp is considered a regular expense which is subsumed in the payment of table support; or (b) camp is an “extraordinary and special expense” to be paid for in proportion to the parties’ incomes, over and above the payment of table support.
Some of the factors to be considered in how camp should be paid for will include:
- What is the amount of table support payable from one party to the other
- What is the cost of the proposed camp
- What is each party’s income
- Did the children attend camp when the parties were married
As a practical example of these considerations, it is unlikely that a judge would find it reasonable that parties with incomes of $40,000 each, enroll each of their 4 children in overnight camp costing $2,000 for each child. By contrast, it is likely that a judge would find it reasonable that parties with incomes of $100,000 each, enroll their 2 children in day camp costing $300 per week.
It is important to discuss the particular factors applicable to your case with a lawyer to determine what type of camp payment scheme is fair for your family. Having that payment scheme outlined in a separation agreement will help eliminate conflict in the future and most importantly, provide you and your children with stability in future summers.
Last, ourkids.net is an excellent resource for the camps available in your area, and the discounts, financial aid and government tax credits available for camp.