Does Your Parenting Plan Need to be Modified for School Expenses?
As August signals back-to-school across Utah County, there are several financial obligations that crop up. The fair division of costs associated with sending the kids back to school can be problematic. For many divorced families, this time of year brings added stress and potential agreements as parents face the avalanche of expenses. While these expenses should be covered and divided in your parenting plan, sometimes they are overlooked, especially if your children were very young when you drew up your parenting plan, according to a leading Provo divorce attorney at Larsen Law Firm.
Children in elementary school typically don’t have significant fees payable to the school, other than field trips, etc. Some schools ask that parents pay a flat fee which covers the cost of their child’s supplies and other classroom needs.
Middle School/Junior/Senior High
Once the kids hit this age, the fees add up. Most schools charge fees for technology, activities, CTE, drama, band or orchestra, etc. Yearbook costs are not included and average between $40-60 in Utah County. These really stack up with the average cost being approximately $100 per student, not including a yearbook. There are several ways that these fees can be divided by divorced families. One of which is to divide these expenses is a simple 50/50. Other families designate one child and their fees to one parent and vice versa. Another option is that one parent pays for school clothes or uniforms and the other pays fees.
School lunch costs
Some very thorough parenting plans not only address fees but the cost for school lunches. The income threshold for free or reduced school lunch costs for the 2019-2020 school year varies based on family size. A family with four household members qualifies for reduced cost lunch prices if the total annual income is $47,638 and $33,475 for free lunches. Using this program to help your family in a challenging readjustment can reduce parental financial strain greatly. Visit Square Meals for more information and determine your potential eligibility for assistance.
Many families select one of Utah County’s excellent charter schools for their children. In many cases, this allows families to remain in the same school from kindergarten through graduation, which greatly simplifies the logistics of getting children to and from school. Most of these schools have a uniform policy, which can be costly. Many have uniforms banks, exchanges, etc., specifically for this purpose.
If you need assistance modifying your parenting plan to change the allocation of these expenses, please contact Larsen Law Firm to meet with a Provo divorce lawyer today.