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Child support modifications to pay for sports training

As Virginians watched the Summer Olympics, they may not have considered the cost of the training that allowed the athletes to make their dreams come true. When parents are divorced, figuring out how to pay for all of the associated expenses for athletically gifted kids can be an issue.

Several Olympic stars, including Michael Phelps and Gabby Douglas, were raised by divorced parents. Training fees can cost hundreds of dollars per month, and the gear and travel associated with competitions can run the costs even higher. A parent who wants to enroll a child in sports lessons may choose to pay for them with the portion of the child support that is allocated for extracurricular activities.

When a child was already showing substantial promise in a sport before the divorce, and one parent returns to court later requesting more child support to help pay for the lessons after a previous order was issued, the court will consider several factors. Judges will review the pre-existing child support order or agreement to see if it addressed the child's participation in the sport. Courts will also consider the incomes of both parents as well as the child's talent and commitment.

Getting increases in child support for a child's participation in a sport is not an automatic process. Sometimes, courts will not order the increased amount. Parents in that situation may want to investigate other possible sources of funding, including scholarships and sponsorships. A parent who wishes to request a modification of the child support amount to include money for his or her child's extraordinary needs may want to consult with a family law attorney to see how best to go forward.

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