What Is Child Support Supposed to Cover?

As a recipient of child support, you are responsible for budgeting the needs of your child against the money you receive. While it doesn’t always cover all the expenses that crop up from time to time, it should help keep your children in a comfortable lifestyle. If you are new to traversing the post-divorce, single-parent road, you may have some questions about what child support does and doesn’t cover. Alternatively, if you are preparing yourself for requesting a new child support order, this same information may prove beneficial. Consider the following when figuring out how to best care for your children using court-ordered support.

Basic Needs of the Child

The court has many issues to consider when deciding a divorce. When children are involved, the court must also determine what is in the best interests of the child. This includes decisions such as legal custody, physical custody, visitation or parenting time with both parents and child support. Typical calculations consider both parents’ incomes and then divide it based on the anticipated needs of the children. The parent with the majority time sharing or lesser salary may receive support to help supplement what their income can provide. The purpose of child support is to cover at least the basics needs of the children like food, shelter, and clothing.

Health Insurance Coverage

One parent may be tasked with covering the children’s healthcare coverage, either due to the availability of benefits or income disparity. When calculating child support, the parent who is carrying the insurance either gets credit for doing so or gets appropriate reimbursement from the other parent. The coverage is contemplated in the support, not the cost of out-of-pocket expenses such as copays, medication, and treatment. These things are above and beyond child support and are typically split evenly between the parties.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Unless otherwise stated, child support should be comprehensive and cover activities and expenses associated with the activity. The majority time sharing parent may sign the children up for activities using the allocated support unless the parents have an arrangement to split such activities outside of court-ordered support.

Proving Where the Money Goes

Some situations may cause the parent paying support to become suspicious that the child support they are paying is not going towards providing for the children. Most states do not force the parent receiving child support to show where and how the money is spent. If there is a chance that the support is not being spent on the children, the parent obligated to pay may request a court hearing to express their concerns.

A child support lawyer, like a child support lawyer from the Law Office of Daniel J Wright, is an invaluable resource for all things related to calculating, collecting, and paying court-ordered child support. Make an appointment to meet with one today.