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Children of divorce and paying for sports participation

Now that the Olympics have drawn to a close, people in Pennsylvania are likely in awe of some of the accomplishments the world-class athletes have made. As children with dreams of the Olympics grow up, training with goals of reaching a sports pinnacle takes significant commitments of time and money. When such a gifted child has divorced parents, the question may arise about which one will pay for the training, gear and competitions.

Michael Phelps, Gabby Douglas and Michael Lochte all were raised by divorced parents who made sacrifices so that their children could reach the top of their sports. In many states, the child support guidelines include an allocation for entertainment or leisure activities, and parents who receive child support may spend that on the children's training if they choose to do so.

If a child is already showing significant talent in his or her sport when a divorce or child support modification is pending, the question about whether or not additional child support will be added is not an easy one. Child support guidelines may allow for additional amounts for gifted children who have extraordinary needs, but that does not mean that it will be automatically awarded. Judges will consider the incomes of both parents, any agreements that are already in place and the child's commitment and talent before making their decisions.

Divorced parents who are unable to informally secure additional child support for a child's extracurricular expenses may be able to find sponsorships or scholarships to help pay for the costs associated with training and travel. However, they still may want to file child support modification motions with the assistance of their family law attorneys.

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