Who Buys the School Supplies?
When you are divorced, or separated from your co-parent and “Back to School” season rolls around, who buys the school supplies? How about school uniforms? Or new clothing? New shoes?
It may not sound like a big issue, but some families cannot afford the myriad of school supplies and other new items that their children need, and other parents simply feel as though they do not have the time to coordinate purchasing the supplies. In other families, if the co-parents do not communicate and one parent cannot access a list provided by the school, then that can present a whole new slew of issues.
Some parents also feel as though the cost of school supplies or “back to school clothing” must be equally divided between the parties. In some instances, that is correct as the parties’ divorce or custody agreement specifies such. But what if your agreement does not speak to the purchase of school supplies? While you should consult with your attorney, our general position is that it is simply easiest for one co-parent to contact the other and see if they can reach an agreement. However, if you do not reach an agreement, and your underlying Court Order does not address such, the likely scenario is that you are going to have to pay out of pocket for whatever your child needs and hopefully, your co-parent will do so the next time around. Many clients ask if child support “covers” these supplies. In theory, if your underlying Court Order is silent to this, then technically yes as no additional obligation from the child support obligor is due. If something like this continues to be an ongoing issue, you may want to consult with an attorney regarding post-judgment options as well.
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