Who Pays for Back-to-School Supplies Under a NJ Child Custody Agreement?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Oct 06, 2023 | 0 Comments

Back-to-school shopping marks the end of summer for many families. Kids need so much for school nowadays. Everything from inexpensive things like backpacks, lunch bags, pens, and notebooks to big-ticket items such as tablets, laptops, musical instruments, and sports equipment are on almost every kid's shopping list. It adds up quickly, and it's more expensive than ever to get everything kids need for school these days.

But if you're parenting under a custody arrangement, knowing who's responsible for footing the back-to-school bill can be difficult. Not knowing who pays for what can lead to arguments between you and your ex and leave your kid without all the things they need for school.

The Lento Law Firm can help you understand who pays for what when it comes to back-to-school shopping and providing for your children in general under New Jersey custody agreements. Our Family Law Team has years of experience helping clients understand their child custody orders. We'll fight to protect your rights so you can make sure that your kids get everything they need for school. Contact us at 888-535-3686, or submit a confidential online consultation form.

Who Pays for Back-to-School Expenses Depends on Many Factors

New Jersey generally requires both parents to contribute to the expenses needed to raise and care for their children. When parents split up, parents are still responsible for these expenses. After child custody is sorted out, child support is figured out next. In New Jersey, child support covers the basics such as food, housing, clothing, and transportation, and also miscellaneous things like school supplies. But who's responsible for paying what often depends on the nature of the custody arrangement.

Parents with sole custody of their kids pay their share of expenses when they pay for their everyday living expenses, while non-custodial parents pay their share when they make child support payments. Parents who share custody pay their expenses more equally. Each covers the child's expenses while the child lives with them, even though the actual amount they pay depends on their income and how much time the child actually spends with them.

It isn't always clear which parent is responsible for paying for back-to-school supplies. This can be confusing and unfair and can also mean that your child doesn't get the supplies they need for school.

How to Avoid Disputes With Your Ex About Who Pays for Back-to-School Expenses

It's hard to anticipate all of the issues you'll face after you get divorced and set up a custody arrangement with your ex. A child support order can't address every expense or financial issue that you and your ex will have to figure out.

Creating a Parenting Plan that lists each parent's responsibilities for raising the kids, including who pays for what — such as back-to-school supplies – and describes how you and your ex will resolve parenting disagreements is one way to address the issue of who pays for what.

And, if you believe that your ex is supposed to pay for your kids' back-to-school supplies but isn't holding up their end of the bargain, you can also ask the court to enforce the support order and make them pay.

An experienced legal team can help you craft a solid parenting plan or ask a court to enforce an existing support order to ensure that your kids' back-to-school expenses are covered. Both courses of action require a legal team that's familiar with the ins and outs of New Jersey's laws and the Family Court system.

The Lento Law Firm Can Help NJ Parents Know Who Should for Pay Their Kids' Back-to-School Expenses

If you're parenting under a New Jersey custody agreement, you might have questions about which parent is responsible for paying for your kids' back-to-school — and other — expenses. Avoiding confusion and knowing what your rights and responsibilities are can save you a lot of time and potential arguments with your ex and also ensure that your kid gets the school supplies they need and deserve.

The Lento Law Firm's knowledgeable Family Law Team has years of experience helping New Jersey parents understand and enforce their rights. We'll assess your case and fight to ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome for you and your children. Contact us at 888-535-3686, or submit a confidential online consultation form.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento is a veteran of one of the nation's busiest family courts with nearly 20 years' experience passionately helping families. By day, he worked in the trenches of family court, and at night, he studied the law. He helped countless families while working at family court, and he went on to become an attorney, dedicating his law practice to continuing the work he started years earlier. Mr. Lento's experience both behind the scenes and on the front lines allows him to understand a client's family law matter from all angles, and allows him to find and employ the most effective strategies to get favorable outcomes for any client. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings! He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and protects their interests.


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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience practicing Family Law in New Jersey. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you and your family, contact our offices today. Family Law Attorney Joseph Lento will go above and beyond the needs for any client and fight for what is fair.

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