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Are educational expenses included in child support in Indiana?

Divorce and child support negotiations can be very stressful because it means tallying and dividing all the costs your child incurs. As your child grows and starts going to school, you might be wondering if child support includes any additional educational expenses.

What does child support cover?

Child support is going to look different from one household to the next. Normally, child support is based off of what it would take one parent to meet a child’s basic needs.

The base amount of child support is determined based on both parents’ income, the custody agreement and the needs of the child. When referring to a child’s needs, it includes things like:

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Housing
  • Medical expenses

Generally, the basic level of child support that a parent will be required to pay won’t look at things like summer camp, sporting leagues or any similar extracurricular activities. Basic child support doesn’t automatically include educational expenses, but it can be modified to include them.

Adding educational expenses into child support payments

While child support might cover a baseline fee for ordinary education expenses, it won’t cover anything extraordinary. This would mean things like private school, tutoring and music lessons. These are considered separately from basic child support needs.

When petitioning for educational expenses to be added to your child support payment, they should be reasonable for elementary, secondary or post-secondary education. When the court looks at these requests, they’ll look at other education options for the child as well as the income level of both parents.

Educational expenses can be included within child support payments, but the court will decide what’s a reasonable contribution for the parent to make. If you want to learn more about adding educational expenses to the child support payments, reach out to a lawyer to discuss your options.