Wolf, Baldwin & Associates, P.C.

What is child support supposed to cover?

If you are a parent who either pays or receives child support, you might like to know what exactly is covered by the support payments. Some parents harbor the illusion that child support is only for the bare necessities that children need, such as clothing and food.

However, there are many more expenses that child support can cover or contribute to. They include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Housing expenses like rent or mortgage
  • School tuition, supplies and fees
  • School, team and cheerleading uniforms
  • Fees for extracurricular activities
  • Entertainment costs
  • Medical bills and related costs
  • Shelter costs, including utilities
  • Telephone and cellphone bills and equipment
  • Lunch fees
  • Textbook purchases/rentals
  • Private tutoring lessons
  • Child care expenses
  • Dental and vision care and costs
  • Medical deductibles, co-pays and out-of-pocket costs
  • Extraordinary medical expenses
  • Car payments or rentals
  • Auto insurance
  • Registration fees
  • Gasoline and oil for cars or trucks
  • Maintenance costs and car repairs
  • Bus, train, plane and taxi fares
  • Internet and cable fees
  • Toys and games
  • Funds for swimming, tennis or other lessons
  • Camping costs
  • Scouting fees and other club dues

Unless there is proof that the parent receiving the support has failed to meet the kids' needs or has otherwise egregiously squandered the support payments, no court will require monthly documentation of how the obligee parent spends the money.

If you suspect that your child support payments are being misdirected to pay for goods or services wholly unrelated to your children's needs, you may need to petition the County Domestic Relations Office for a child support or custody modification that is in the best interests of your children.  But be aware that you will have an uphill battle.  Contact our office for a consultation to discuss your specific circumstances.

Source: FindLaw, "What Does Child Support Cover?," accessed Feb. 16, 2018

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