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A major concern amongst parents who have children under their care is the payment and costs associated with extra curricular activities.
As sport, music, dance, and other similar activities are popular with children of all ages, the costs associated with these can be quite significant over a long period of time.
Unlike child support payments which are determined upon set criteria and formula, non-periodic payments associated with extra-curricular activities do not have a ‘one size fits all’ answer for which party pays and in what proportions.
As is the case with many families, the child’s involvement in extra-curricular activities often brings great joy, accomplishment, and pride to both the parents and children.
Therefore, when determining how these activities are to be paid for between the parties, it is essential to keep the best interests of the child in mind, and whether an equitable solution can be reached.
This approach often prioritizes the children’s continued emotional wellbeing and development rather than something the parents can hold over each other and fight about.
Payment of school fees and extra-curricular activities of the children post-separation can often feel burdensome on one party, especially in situations where the other party is refusing to contribute.
If you remain at an impasse with the other party about financial arrangements for these categories, mediation is the best course of action.
This process often results in the parties reaching a compromise on issues such as extra-curricular activities, payment of insurance and medical bills, cost of school items (uniforms, books, equipment, etc.), and school fees.
If the mediation process fails, a party may apply to the Child Support Agency which has the authority to determine which party is responsible for the payment of private school fees and how this payment is to be shared.
If a party disagrees with the ruling made by this Agency, a review process is available.
Importantly, the Family Court will only deal with non-periodic payments (for categories of costs mentioned above) only after mediation and Child Support Agency rulings have been exhausted. This is to ensure the Court is no backdated with smaller items that should be resolved in a settlement.
If you find that an agreement cannot be reached and you need legal advice about your options, please do not hesitate to speak with one of our accredited family law specialists today.
At James Noble Law, our first and foremost position is to promote mediation between the parties, to allow for future negotiations and parenting arrangements to be similarly resolved.
If you have any questions regarding the above or need advice on the best way to approach a situation regarding divorce, financial settlement or parenting arrangements, please contact the Brisbane Family lawyer team at James Noble Law for a free, no-obligation 20-minute consultation with one of our experienced family law solicitors.
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