What Exactly Does Child Support Cover?

Raising a child has daily costs. From diapers and wipes, to new clothes and uniforms, especially college time… Raising a child is an expensive task. When receiving child support, often there are times the ex-spouses argue over what expenses need to be paid for without help from the other parent.

Child Support is designed to cover a child’s basic living expenses. It goes towards their “rent and utilities” for each month. It is also made to cover the child’s daily needs i.e.: food, clothing, toothbrushes and paste, etc. There is grey area in which the parents argue over who is likely to pay… If a child is invited to a birthday party and they need to bring a gift, this is considered ordinary expenses for which a parent would be expected to pay. In contrast, if a child needs to buy a certain type of computer for school, they cost is usually split between the parents.

Some child support’s details differ from case-to-case. Commonly, medical expenses are split down the middle. When you take the child school supply shopping, it is unwise to keep every receipt for the supplies and bring to court to argue the other parent must pay for half. This is all included in the monthly child support. When a parent is with the child they should expect to pay out of pocket for most things.

For parents paying child support, it is important to keep in mind the child support was written up knowing you were going to see the child and might have to pay for some expenses out of pocket when with child…  The child support was calculated while taking into account that you would have to pay some expenses for your child while your child is in your custody. The child support could have been much higher cost if you did not have contact with the child.

It is better to simply be wise and budget appropriately for these expenses.  That said, you can and should discuss these issues with your attorney, especially if you believe that your child support order specifically states otherwise.

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