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Who pays for summer camp? (And who should pay for summer camp?)

by | May 19, 2022 | Children and Divorce, Parenting Plans |

It’s one of the big challenges of parenting in the summer: Many parents need to go to work while their kids are home for the summer. And now, with more and more employers wanting their workers to come into the office post-pandemic, that’s becoming more of an issue. Lots of parents who got to spend time with their kids while working from home are having quite a different summer as a result. And that’s, of course, where summer camp comes in.

For kids home from school for the summer, summer camp serves a few vital functions — it inspires, it educates, but also, it occupies! It gets kids out of the house for a stretch so parents are free to work, as school’s not there to do that during the summer. But, as many parents know, summer camp is also incredibly expensive, and it can be a challenge to pay for it. And, with other financial obligations involving divorced parents and their kids, summer camp costs can be a source of conflict.

First off, there’s a question about whether summer camp’s a necessary expense or more of a “luxury,” and that’s typically contingent on each parent’s situation. If kids are younger and parents work, it might fall more into the former category, functioning as a form of child care, but it could be regarded differently if the children are older or if there’s someone in the child’s extended family who has a role in providing child care.

Some parents might determine that it should function like child care at any other time of year: Whichever parent has parenting time would be the one responsible for either taking care of the child in that window, or would need to find someone to provide child care.

But also, some parents might recognize that summer camp is for the benefit of their mutually-created child, and decided to either split the costs equally or determine some other arrangement they both deem fair.

The best thing to do, of course, is to try to work summer camp into the original divorce decree, or if it becomes evident that it will become an issue down the line, to modify your divorce decree to make sure that summer camp’s covered. That’s especially true if it becomes a source of conflict between you and your ex. In some situations, it’s quite possible that if you want your kid to go to a camp, you might have to foot the entire bill yourself if your ex isn’t cooperative.

If you feel like you need a lawyer to help you navigate any of this — and there’s a good bit to think about here — consider the Law Office of Lisa A. Vance. The expertise of this San Antonio-based family law firm has been utilized by clients throughout Texas, and they can help with crafting modifications as well as decrees reflecting your wishes.