As the end of summer nears and schools are beginning to prepare for a new year, the question of costs associated with education is often one on the minds of parents. Who will pay for back to school clothes, field trips, and book fees? The answer depends.
The Indiana Child Support Rules and Guidelines provide guidance as to some of these fees1. For example, clothing, book fees, and supplies are considered controlled expenses. These expenses are costs that are incurred on behalf of the child, that are not shared or duplicated. The custodial parent (or parent who is designated as the parent to pay controlled expenses) is responsible for these fees.
Extracurricular fees, field trips, and the like may likely fall outside of these controlled expenses. These are fees generally associated with optional activities, and may be split by the parents if there is an agreement or Order noting same. For example, many students, before high school, take a school trip to Washington D.C. This would not likely be considered a controlled expense, but if both parties agree, may be split between the parents financially.
There are other areas that parents may need to consider as they determine child support and financial contributions. Lunch expenses can quickly add up, and while generally, the parent who is exercising their parenting time is responsible for feeding the children, this may be an expense to consider dividing. Also, technology fees for tablets or computers that are required or encouraged by the school may need to be considered as divided between the parents, as these can often be quite expensive.
Several school related fees and expenses are for the consideration of the parties to make an agreement or follow a Court’s Order on same. Knowing the extent of expenses can help parents determine how they will divide same, and what is in the best interests of the minor child.
We hope that this blog post has been helpful in exploring some general ideas about school expenses. This blog is not intended as legal advice. If you have questions or concerns about your case, CIYOU & DIXON, P.C. may be able to help evaluate same. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. practices throughout the state of Indiana. This post was written by attorney, Jessica Keyes.
- See generally, https://www.in.gov/judiciary/rules/child_support/