With warmer weather comes more outside activities, and school-age children are likely excited to go to summer camp once school is out. Although children are looking forward to summer camp, parents may have hesitations, especially if they have gone through a divorce.
The costs of summer camp can be expensive, even more so if children go out of state or spend the night. According to the president and CEO of the American Camp Association, the average cost each day for summer camp is $72, and an overnight camp cost is $172 per day. The price varies, and parents must consider the location of the camp, whether meals and travel services are provided, and if day trips are involved.
Typically, when the parents are divorced, they should evaluate whether the summer camp acts as a day care facility. If the summer camp arrangement is a necessity because of a work schedule, the costs of day care will likely be split between the parties. If summer camp is deemed an extracurricular activity, the non-custodial parent may not need to contribute to the costs.
Day Care and Extracurricular Activities
When parents are going through divorce, summer camps are usually considered because they probably function as day care facilities. Owing to this, the expenses of the summer camp will be calculated in the basic child support award. The total amount will be based on tuition rates as well as how often the child goes to summer camp. If the non-custodial parent has concerns about the extra summertime costs, a judge will consider whether the expenses are extravagant.
Sometimes, summer camp is an extracurricular activity, such as when one parent is a stay-at-home parent and can take care of their child. In these cases, summer camp expenses will not be factored into child support, and the non-custodial parent may not have to help pay for the costs. However, the court might still require the non-custodial parent to pay if it is the child’s best interests.
When to Make Summer Camp Arrangements
It is wise to make summer plans ahead of time, and this should ideally be settled during the divorce process. Summer camp can be a contentious topic for divorcing parties, but it is helpful to agree on a plan before the actual events take place.
Vacations and activities might interfere with one parent’s schedule, and who makes the final decision depends on who has legal custody. To avoid further arguments, both parents should discuss matters and make a final parenting plan. Modifications can be made with the help of a lawyer.
Safety Considerations in the Pandemic
Amid the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, parents may have additional concerns about summer camp, especially since children under 16 years old are not yet eligible for a vaccine. The American Academy of Pediatrics has reassured that summer camp is a safe option for parents as long as the proper safety protocols are strictly followed. Frequent handwashing, sanitizing, cleaning, and mask-wearing and social distancing should be followed at all summer camp activities. If parents have concerns, it is advisable to speak to a physician as well as the summer camp directors.
With the ongoing pandemic, it is even more imperative that divorcing parents discuss summertime activities involving their children ahead of time. Communication is key, and parents should consider what is best for their children. If one parent wishes to make post-divorce modifications to an existing arrangement, they should speak to a lawyer before signing their child up for summer camp.
Delaware County Family Law Attorneys at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello Help Divorced Parents Arrange Summertime Activities
Now that the warm summer months are quickly approaching, divorced or divorcing parents should figure out who pays for summer camp expenses. If you need to make modifications or have concerns about what should be included in your child support, the Delaware County family law attorneys at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello can help. Complete our online form or call us at 610-892-4950 for a free consultation. Located in Media, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Media, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster, Montgomery County, Norristown, Philadelphia, Reading, and West Chester, Pennsylvania.