Michael Phelps. Kevin Durant. Venus and Serena Williams. What do these people have in common? You probably answered “athletic superstars”, and you’d be right. But did you know that all of these sports icons are also children of divorce?

The Olympics are right around the corner—a time of hope and inspiration for budding athletes across the world. If you’re a divorced parent staring down at your little Olympic hopeful, you might be wondering: Who’s going to pay for my kid’s dreams of stardom?

Child support is meant to cover a wide range of expenses beyond basic necessities. In most states, guidelines allow for a portion of child support money to be applied to an Extracurricular category. This money can be used for out-of-school activities, which could include ice skating lessons in addition to leisure activities, such as going to a movie.

However, if your child is showing promise of being the next Kristi Yamaguchi, skating lessons alone aren’t going to cut it. Add in the trainer, nutritionist, massage therapist, costumes and competition fees, and suddenly you’re looking at a bill that will make your heart sink.

Fortunately, in many states, child support guidelines include provisions for children who are gifted or have special needs. A child support lawyer could make the case that it’s in the best interest of a gifted child to have their natural talents supported financially. A judge will typically take three factors into consideration when deciding on shared expenses:

  • The income level of each parent
  • Any existing court orders or settlement agreements dealing with child support
  • Proof of the child’s skill and dedication to the sport in question

Even if it’s not possible for child support to fund your child’s Olympic pursuits, don’t dismay. You can also look for other opportunities to defray costs through scholarships and sponsorships.