If you are in the process of filing for divorce, it is time to consider the needs of your growing children. While younger children have financial needs that are more easily addressed during a divorce, teenagers need additional support that is often difficult to estimate, such as expenses and fees associated with sports, music, school clubs and other extracurricular activities.
Extracurricular activities play an important role in maintaining the well-being and development of a child and a young adult. Expenses associated with these activities are often a point of contention between divorcing parents, which is why effective negotiation is necessary to resolve conflicts, typically through mediation, as this is far more cost effective and less emotionally taxing than litigation.
Divorce and Extracurricular Expenses
Divorce involving teenagers with activity requirements and extracurricular fees can be complex. You will need advice, guidance and representation from an experienced lawyer. The most important consideration during this transition is to minimize the impact of divorce on your children’s daily routines including school, activities and friends. One of the best ways to support a child through a divorce is to provide unconditional support and love during and after the process. Co-parenting is most successful when parents can put aside their differences for the benefit of the children. When money is involved, even the most cooperative parents can at times become vitriolic and negative.
The PICS Method of Allocating Expenses for Teenagers
One common method to allocate extracurricular fees is to use PICS. The PICS method assigns a percentage to each parent based on the Minnesota Child Support Calculator schedules. PICS is determined by an algorithm created by the Court system. Using PICS will typically require a monthly or quarterly true up for expenses between parents, and this requires good communication. Parents will need to address which expenses qualify for reimbursement, and which expenses do not. Parents can also choose to utilize other methods to allocate expenses as well, especially in cases where net after tax cash flow is similar between the parties.
Please contact Lake Harriet Law to discuss your legal needs with a highly experienced and understanding family lawyer today. We are here to represent you throughout every aspect of your divorce.
Please contact our team to schedule an office consultation.
Randall A. Smith – Managing Attorney 612-750-4843
Aubry Fritsch – Student Attorney 612-223-8925
Taylor Blatchford – Student Attorney 612-223-8925
Katie Arndt – Student Attorney 612-223-8925