Most divorced parents fully understand that that their parental duties do not necessarily end with the dissolution of the marriage. California family courts will often require that both parents contribute financially to support any children. A parent who does not have full custody may be expected to make regular child support payments.
When a child displays particular economic requirements, then the unmarried parents will often be expected to share in the expense after the divorce. These requirements might range from physical disabilities that must be compensated to a talent or aptitude for a particular activity that requires investment in money and time. Reasonable sums can be earmarked for this purpose from the existing support payments. However, some forms of recreation or athletic competition can require extraordinary time commitments and funding.
If it can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the court that the activity is in the child's best interests, then a judge may structure the parenting plan in favor of the activity or make alterations to the existing child support payment plan. An examination of similar cases shows a wide discrepancy in the ways that this situation has been dealt with. However, it is generally accepted that if one parent exceeds the other in enthusiasm for the activity, then they should be expected to shoulder more of the financial responsibility.
Modification of the terms of a divorce may be easier with the assistance of an attorney. The lawyer could examine the case, make helpful suggestions as to how to present it before the court, assist in negotiations and represent their client when necessary.