PARSIPPANY, N.J., Aug. 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- For every child athlete inspired by the Rio Summer Olympics, there is a parent wondering how much the training required to compete at this elite level must cost. For divorced parents, the price tag of raising an Olympic hopeful comes with the added question of how coaching, lessons, and competition fees can be shared with the child's other parent.
As Bari Z. Weinberger, family law expert and founder of Weinberger Law Group, explains in her latest article for legal website HG.org, "Raising an Olympian when You Are a Divorced Parent: New Jersey Child Support Guidelines," the ability of divorced parents to help their child go for the gold often depends on their own ability to compromise.
According to Weinberger, "Olympic-level training can cost anywhere from several thousands of dollars to upwards of $100,000 or more in some sports. How these costs are to be shared can be a complicated issue for divorced parents, especially when the divorce took place before their child showed talent in the sport. Regular child support awards are not designed to cover exorbitant sports costs, so when the issue of who pays for high level athletic training comes up, it's often left open for debate."
In general, the courts will look at several factors to determine cost sharing, including each parent's income and the child's demonstrated talent and commitment to the sport in question. According to Weinberger, "The courts are firm in looking at what is in the best interests of the child. Generally speaking…if your child is a Katie Ledecky or Aly Raisman, and shows signs of greatness in their chosen sport, you will find that judges are more likely to encourage continued participation in that activity."
She also notes that the parent who is more enthusiastic about the child's involvement in sports "may need to be willing to take on more of the burden of paying for extras above and beyond normal participation — or be willing to concede on other issues." Some parents decide to forgo going to court (or decline out-of-court negotiations) all together and look for other sources of money, such as sponsorships.
As Weinberger sums up, "Divorce doesn't need to deter Olympic dreams." And for evidence of this, she recommends looking to Debbie Phelps, divorced single mother to Olympic champion Michael Phelps. "She supported his dreams since he was nine years old and look where that's taken him!"
About Bari Z. Weinberger, Esq.
Family law expert and certified matrimonial law attorney, Bari Z. Weinberger, is the founder and managing partner of Weinberger Law Group, a family law firm serving divorce and family law clients throughout New Jersey with offices in Parsippany, Bedminster, Freehold, Hackensack, and Mount Laurel.
Bari Z. Weinberger
+1 (888) 888-0919
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SOURCE Weinberger Law Group