Aaron & Aaron, Attorneys at Law
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Child support for future Olympic athletes

Many South Carolina residents watched television coverage of Michael Phelps and Gabby Douglas competing at the Rio Summer Olympics. The two athletes are both at the top of their game, and they are both children of divorced parents. Phelps and Douglas are a reminder that children can still accomplish great things after their parents end their marriage.

A divorced parent who believes that they may have the next little Phelps or Douglas will probably have a lot of athletic expenses each month. Paying for extra coaching, traveling to compete in tournaments and purchasing sports equipment can add up. In some cases, a divorced parent who is paying child support may have to pay extra to cover the child's athletic expenses.

Child support guidelines usually allow a portion of a child support award to be used for extra expenses such as the cost of regular sports lessons. However, a child who is very dedicated to a particular sport will usually require a lot more money to pursue their dreams. In a majority of cases, the parent who is the most dedicated to their child's athletic career must cover the child's extra athletic expenses.

There are some situations where a family court may order a parent to pay extra child support to cover athletic expenses for an extraordinarily gifted child. If the court sees proof that the child has exceptional athletic talent and requires extra support to cover the sports expenses, the court may order extra support in accordance with guidelines. An attorney may be able to represent a parent who is petitioning for a larger child support amount to pay for the child's athletic training.

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