Extra Curricular Activities, who pays?

Single parent who has shared custody (one week on/one week off).
My question is, if I want to sign up my child in extra curricular activities, should the ex share the cost 50/50 or is it all on me? My lawyer is telling me the ex really doesn’t have to pay for anything if they don’t want to.



94 Responses

  1. If I choose to put my kid in a sport, i fully expect to pay it myself. Which meant applying for PLAY and saving up money. If their dad helped, bonus. If he doesn’t…not a huge deal.


  3. You want them in you pay. If the ex wishes to contribute then that’s their choice

  4. Renee Benoit Renee Benoit says:

    Forget the cost. Make sure there willing to bring the said child to the activity, or you pick them up for that activity. If they want to share the cost and activity then perfect!

  5. Both — your separation agreement should have covered that. For example: “Anything over 100$ (which most extra curricular activities are)shall be divided. Parent A pays 40% Parent B pays 60%”
    I have joint custody of my son with his father and in our agreement it breaks down costs, however we can and have chosen to pay for things on our own and split 50/50 at other times. It really depends. I think you should both pay. It’s unfair to the other parent if you don’t. It’s not about the two of you it’s about your child.

  6. If he pays you a monthly child support then no but if he doesn’t then you should talk to him about it

  7. If you want to put her in dance class but I don’t that’s not on me at all!! If we both decide on it than yes it’s 50/50

  8. 50/50 they are both your child and if they would like to be in a sort or other activity it should be split

  9. Kailey Smith Kailey Smith says:

    Shared responsibilities yes.

  10. Neas Angele Neas Angele says:

    Uhm since you have joint custody, that means your decisions and choices for your children are SHARED as parents. Therefore, maybe talk with him about it before going to a lawyer and being a bitch about it.

  11. Lindsay Hyde Lindsay Hyde says:

    Unfortunately extracurricular activities are not generally considered an expense above and beyond child support. Expenses that fall outside regular child support are education, medical, dentil etc. Costs that are incurred because they directly relate to the child’s needs and fall outside what is covered by child support (food, clothing, shelter) is divided by the parents and the % covered by each is representative (based on each parents income). Hopefully you can reach an agreement. Sports are so important. All kids, especially those from independent parents households, can learn so much about team work and other vital skills from participating in sport. If cost is the barrier and the other parent is not able/willing to contribute to the cost look into the human league, jumpstart, and other programs that are offered around the city.

  12. I say it’s a discussion to have with your ex. If you want them in something and they don’t, it’s on you. If you both want them in then split. We had 50/50 when my stepson started hockey. She doesn’t pay for it but its expensive and there’s 2 of us working and only one of her, so we pay and in return, when he has games on her time (twice a week) she makes sure he’s there. Knowing that she doesn’t have to bring him and does anyways is enough for me.

  13. They don’t have to unless it’s a clause in your support order. If not they can decline to help and you pay 100%. Maybe apply for Canadian tire jump start.

  14. Only 50/50 if they both decide to put the kid in!

  15. Can get it written into your support agreement

  16. David Bruce David Bruce says:

    What you think and what the law is are two different things.

    Should he help well of course. Is he legally obligated too? Of course not?

    A separation agreement or divorce decree won’t speak to such a minor thing unless these things are a part of the issue before.

    An amount is set for custody. That is what gets paid you don’t get to add things later and certainly cannot just expect it to be required because “you” decided to sign them up for something

    • Kayla Mussar Kayla Mussar says:

      David Bruce i don’t receive support so maybe that’s why my separation agreement with my ex is different. But it goes into great detail about how we’re expected to share the cost of everything from dental work, medical bills, school supplies and activities. We had a mediator help us out with it and she said it was standard to have those things clearly written out.

    • David Bruce David Bruce says:

      Kayla Mussar it is standard. I’m also a mediator and that’s the best way to do it.
      The courts won’t speak to small details its very general that’s why mediation is best.

      However, I’m sure that these things were happening before. This is a new expense I’m assuming. Can the custodial parent require the other to pay?

      What if they buy clothes… should the other parent have to pay half as well? Where does it end?

      Child support is supposed to cover these things anyways… etc

  17. Discuss with ur ex before enrolling..if its shared than u should be sharing all costs..

  18. Really sad that this has to be an issue. The parents choose to get divorced. Not the children. Their needs are still important. After we separated we were still parents. There was never a custody issue. He came and saw his children whenever he wanted to. The kids had one home and their father was welcome there. I made less money so he made sure to provide me enough money for the kids and even gave more if it benefited the kids and I never asked for more then he could give. Yes. He was a lousy husband. But he was never a bad father. Not once did we go to court. We raised those children together as it should be

  19. Extra-curricular activities are generally not required in a child’s life. Recommended, sure, but not required — someone can live without having been involved in extra-curricular activities, so it’s not a “need.” As a result, your ex has no obligation to pay even 50/50, unless your ex is the one who wants to sign the child up.

    As others have suggested, have a conversation with your ex about it. Discuss the benefits of the child taking part in the activity, and see whether your ex is on board. If they are, then great, they might pay something — but they are not obligated and even if they are on board, they still might expect you to make those payments because it was your idea.

  20. Joe Lauzon Joe Lauzon says:

    Does he have to? Or should he? 2 different questions.

  21. I was told by legal aid that extra curriculars are split 50/50 and it has nothing to do with child support

  22. Child support is to cover basic needs:shelter, food, clothing that does not cover extra curricular activities, or anything else for that matter. You should come to an agreement on how it should be paid whether it being 50/50 or 70/30 on who makes more but that’s for you to agree on or file papers and ask for it to be covered.

  23. Why would you listen to your lawyer when you have the uninformed reckoning of a trashy local forum?

  24. Reily Burns Reily Burns says:

    Listen to your lawyer. If you ex says no he does not want to pay it’s no. Simple as that. If your ex does want to then fine but they don’t have to do anything

  25. If both parents can afford to split the cost they should 50/50. It one parent can’t afford to pay they should do what they can. It’s the child that benefits.

  26. Your ex needs to agree to the sport and amount. If that won’t happen, then you can pay 100% yourself, it’s a good tax write off

    • Al Manion Al Manion says:

      Elizabeth is right. No claiming kids extra curricular. The reason they gave is that it wasn’t benefitting those they had intended it for…the “working poor”, but rather just another right off for the middle and upper classes. There was also a case where a parent tried to claim running shoes as an extra curricular expense and was denied.

  27. Bri Brunet Bri Brunet says:

    I have legal sole custody of my son and his father has minor visitation. I pay for all of my sons extra curricular activities and his dad has never given me any extra money for anything my son wants to be involved in. At the end of the day it benefits my son so it doesn’t bother me to pay for it and it’s really not worth the hassle of fighting over it.

  28. People shouldn’t even be breeding let alone trying to manage co-parenting. Get your tubes tied/nuts clipped people!

  29. Cara Bedard Cara Bedard says:

    I don’t think it should be about agreeing. Everything to do with the child should be split 50/50. But that is not the way it goes.

  30. If your lawyer told you that you have to pay, why would you be asking people on this site? Whatever anyone tells you here is just their opinion! Not smart!

  31. 50/50 split must be nice!

  32. Depends on your agreement. Section 7, special expenses are usually split on the same ratio as the parents income. If you’re lawyer didn’t have that as a clause in your agreement then you’re screwed :/

  33. John Brown John Brown says:

    Who cares about should. Question is will,…and going by where you’re both at. Id say move along.

  34. Your lawyer is right.

    This is what child support is for. If he’s not required to pay child support, maybe it’s time to make him..

  35. If you have shared custody which is different from joint custody you take on your own cost of the child…hence the reason there is no child support paid by either parent

    • Wrong. We had shared and had to pay. Whoever makes more pays the other parent.
      For example, if we made 50k and she made 30k, they calculate what we would pay her if she had full time, and what she would pay us if we had full time, and subtract the difference in the lower income earners favour to make their quality of life more equal in both homes. It’s stupid. We were also told activities and extras were to be split 75/25 on us.

    • I have shared custody we pay our own, we don’t pay child support…guess it’s the way we did it in court and agreed too?

    • Stephanie, if it’s agreed upon that’s one thing. But according to the guidelines the child is entitled to support from the higher income earners to stabilize their quality of life. Which is stupid for shared in my opinion but its what we got told at mediation the 3 times we’ve done it. It could very well be situational, but you’re definitely not off the hook just because it’s shared, unfortunately.

    • Alexandra Catt-Irwin final court order …done over 8 yrs ago

    • Stephanie – we’ve been 3x in 3 years and it’s always the same outcome, we pay because we make more.

  36. Depends what final court order says. Did you ask for this while in court? If not I don’t think ex has too unless he/she wants to. I know it sounds stupid but get everything in court order,down to who’s responsible for what this way your both held accountable for what is in the court order!

  37. Farhan Salah Farhan Salah says:

    A friend of mine had a split and he had to pay support, half of any extra curricular, anf half for things like braces etc big stuff. But that is only enforceable because he and his ex hired lawyers and got a judge to endorse this agreement. If he strays from paying she automatically takes him back to court where the judge will begin an enforcement. If that same couple hadn’t come the original agreement in court, she wouldn’t be able to have enforcement measures done since there would be no order to enforce. (If she has proof he’s been working however the judge can go back as far as he wants when it comes to monthly child support payments. Just not anything extra curricular) Don’t get me wrong he had no problems paying monthly since it’s all been arranged by how much he can afford which happens to be according to the fair sized paycheque he brings home. The less the man makes the less he pays. Unless parents make pseudo agreements outside the courts. Then it’s her word against his. It’s very hard to get any recoupment of back support. I have gone through with a lawyer as well. It’s just much better for everyone in some cases although some parents can completely do it away from the court system and I’ve seen that too. Just depends how trust worthy each parent is and how much they get along. Kids needs should always come first though.

  38. They way we do it (50/50 shared custody) is, if the child is in a shared sport/activity, where he can attend with both families, then we split the cost. But if he just goes from one house, then that parent pays alone.
    My bonus son is currently in Canskate that he only attends from our home on our week, so we paid for the whole cost. He has been in swimming lessons and soccer where he goes every week, so that is a shared cost.
    You have to be able to work together as co-parents, no matter what happened between the two of you. No matter what, it’s not the child’s fault.

  39. Why the hell go on the spotted in sudbury page to ask a question you ALREADY have the answer to? Your lawyer told you if they dont wanna pay they dont have to…its called extra curricular not basic necessities of life…you want your kid in something extra do it yourself…you cant always sit there and rely on everyone else, because not everyone else will always be there…

  40. Hmm I look at it this way if your ex partner pays for child support.. that money should be towards the child towards stuff like that not anything else

  41. You need to talk about it and come to an agreement

  42. Maybe the other parent has them in a curricular actively them self…

  43. You sound like you have a legal aid lawyer. They’ll tell you anything cause they collect a fee no matter what. You both should pay and split the cost down the middle. Seeing how some weekends he’ll probably have the kid and also have to take the kid to whatever you sigh it up for.

  44. Don’t have to… What if one parent can afford more? The other shouldn’t go broke because you want to put them in something that might be too costly for them. Although, parents who have their kids put first will discuss possible things, cost, and work something out. Maybe you pay for something, and they choose to do other activities that are more cost efficient to them.. or you split cost, or pay different amouts towards it.. Being a parent means putting your shit asside, and not breaking the other parent, or trying to always one up them.. end of relationship or not, you still have a partnership to make work for your kids best interest..

  45. Alex Wunsch Alex Wunsch says:

    If you both agree that the activity would be good for the kid and agree to split Yeah, for sure. Don’t walk up the the father and say hey, you owe an extra $150 a month because I signed him up for something.

  46. Nickers says:

    These things have to be negotiated. So if you want to sign them up, and he doesn’t, you will have to pay.

  47. Scott Seguin Scott Seguin says:

    So point one, why do you pay a lawyer if you aren’t going to listen to them. You must be on legal aid and don’t understand how much thier legal advice cost.
    Point two, why would you ask a bunch of people on Facebook instead of listening to someone who went to school for 7 years and passed the bar exam to practice family law and therefore knows the answer for a living.
    Third point, your lawyer is right, since the advice of Facebook is more important to you then your lawyers I should offer it.
    And last but not least if you’re this dumb do you think maybe it should be more 80/20 in his favor. We don’t need anymore stupid adults.

    P.S. I am the parent who pays for all my daughter’s activities and she is in a lot. I don’t expect a dime from the other parent and neither should you.

  48. Renee Leduc Renee Leduc says:

    Your lawyer isn’t wrong.

  49. Kim Parker Kim Parker says:

    Who cares, sign up your kid for what they want. Just be good to her or him! You say the lawyer told you one thing but you dont believe them, so you figured you’d come to shoutout sudbury to find the real answer?

    • James Nash James Nash says:

      Or a way around the answer she didnt like. Prolly wants the baby daddy to foot the bill and make him pay.

    • Kayla Mussar Kayla Mussar says:

      Sports and activities cost a fortune, some more than others. Maybe the kid really wants to join hockey but mom can’t afford it on her own? You also kind of need the other parent to be onboard with said activities so they can bring them on their designated weeks. It’s not always as simple as just signing them up for what they want.

  50. If you share custody I think you both should pay but that what I think my son never had his dad in his life so i paid it all

  51. Both should
    It’s not should you or should I , it’s both of your kids.
    Co parenting is so important to set good example for the children. It will be worth it once you see the smiles on their faces.

  52. Legally, if the ex pays support, that’s all they are required to pay. But a good dad *or mom* would go above and beyond.
    Edit: added mom before getting crucified

  53. Britt Any Britt Any says:

    You have a lawyer for a reason.. They are telling you what you need to know.. Why do you need more info on that?.. Like your lawyer said, …. No! Your ex doesnt need to pay shit.

  54. Al Manion Al Manion says:

    That’s on you. You can try to arrange something with the other parent but if they’re not on board with it, you are on your own. In my own situation, our son played hockey and soccer before we split. In the interest of keeping him active we want him to continue playing these sports and we split the cost because ultimately it’s about him. Not everyone sees it that way though.

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