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Who pays for extracirricular activities and college expenses after a divorce?

On Behalf of | Jul 30, 2022 | Family Law |

One common question among divorcing parents is, “Who pays for extracurricular activities and college expenses after the divorce?” The answer to this delves into both law and practicality.

According to the law, a parent does not have to pay for college or extracurricular activities if they choose not to. So, neither the custodial parent nor the noncustodial parent has to pay for college or extracurricular activities unless it is in the divorce decree.


College is where the law gets tricky, particularly concerning child support. Both parents are responsible for supporting a child until the child is 21. This is true if the child lives in a college dorm or at home with the custodial parent.

The divorce decree ultimately decides who will pay which expenses, but if there is no agreement, then neither parent has an obligation after the child is 21.

Unfortunately, this can also affect the child’s ability to obtain financial aid since parental financial information is necessary for most types of college funding.

Extracurricular activities

Unless it is in the divorce decree, neither parent is responsible for extracurricular activities in the state of New York. They are strictly a luxury. If it is not officially in the divorce, the custodial parent can use child support to help offset the costs.

If your child intends to attend college or participate in extracurricular activities, including this in the divorce settlement is important. If it is not written in the divorce, then only one parent may end up bearing the burden of this cost.