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What expenses does child support cover?

Each state has its own guidelines that establish how much child support a noncustodial parent has to pay. The courts are required to consider a number of factors, too, such as how much each parent makes, whether there are special needs for the child, how much is needed to maintain the child's current standard of living, and more.

Some people believe that child support should only cover the bare necessities when it comes to a child's expenses, such as clothing and food. However, child support is meant to cover more than that, such as school and sports fees, medical expenses, extracurricular activities, entertainment and other things children need.

The courts do not monitor how child support is spent — only that it is paid as it is supposed to be paid. Child support can be used to pay for:

-- Shelter, food and clothing. This is pretty self-explanatory and includes the mortgage or rent, electric, groceries and clothing.

-- Medical expenses: Most states require that medical insurance is carried for the child, and it is usually the parent with the better benefits that will be required to maintain coverage.

-- School fees: Even if your child attends a public school, there are many costs associated with attendance. These can include uniforms, textbooks, lunch money, tutors, etc.

-- Childcare: If both parents work, then child support can be used to cover the cost of childcare expenses.

-- Travel: If a child has to travel to see the noncustodial parent, child support can be used to pay for the travel expenses.

-- Extracurricular activities: Children need to experience things like after school activities, including sports, Boy or Girl Scouts and summer camp.

These are just some of the things that child support can be used to pay for. If you have questions about your child support, whether you are paying or receiving it, an attorney can provide more information.

Source: FindLaw, "What Does Child Support Cover?," accessed Sep. 09, 2016

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