The Federal Child Support Guidelines require a payor spouse to pay a certain amount of basic child support based on their gross annual income. In addition they are required to pay their proportionate share of the child’s special and extraordinary expenses based on their and their spouse’s incomes.
Special expenses include childcare, medical/dental insurance costs, health-related expenses that exceed $100.00, tuition and books, orthodontics, and day camps.
Extraordinary expenses include extracurricular activities if they are reasonable given the parents’ means and do not include the less expensive activities such as swimming, skating and soccer unless the child achieves a proficiency level where travel and/or expensive training is required.
Computers, school fees, entertainment and allowances are not special or extraordinary expenses. Private school fees are considered special expenses provided there is a history of the child attending private school during the marriage or some other special reason to attend but only if it is a reasonable expense given the parents’ incomes.
Deborah A. Todd