In a lot of cases, Orders do not include language about who pays expenses for a child, outside of medical expenses. Doesn’t child support cover those expenses?
Let’s start with child support. Nevada Revised Statute (“NRS”) 125B.020 (1) provides that parents “have a duty to provide the child necessary maintenance, health care, education and support.” This falls under the portion of the NRS titled “Obligation of Support.” There is nothing in the NRS or the Nevada Administrative Code (“NAC”) which details that support includes activity expenses for minor children.
The definition of the type of support is limited. Even though the field trip might fall under education, it is discretionary not mandatory. Thus, it does not fall under the use and purpose of child support.
So, what happens? How can these expenses be shared? Ideally, parents can discuss and agree to split the expense. If the parents talk about it and cannot agree, then the following considerations must be taken into account to decide whether or not the child participates.
First the parent who wants the child to attend is going to have to determine whether the field trip falls on one parent’s time or both parents’ time. If the field trip falls only during one parent’s time, then that parent gets to decide whether the child attends or not. If that parent wants the child to attend, that parent would be responsible for the costs associated with the field trip. If the field trip falls on both parents’ time, if the parents are not in agreement then the child cannot attend unless there is time to file a Motion and have the Court rule on the issue of the child’s attendance.
Take away, if you are modifying or updating custodial Orders, it may be wise to attempt to discuss these types of issue. Talk to the other parent about whether the child will participate in discretionary school activities and who will contribute to those expenses.