Child support is a type of monetary payment made under family law. This legal obligation deducts a portion of the income from the parent who is not the primary caregiver of the children in question in order to pay the parent who is. Child support laws are based on the premise that if both parents were raising the child together, more income would go toward the child’s care than the primary caregiver can provide on their own.
If you pay child support for your children or are the custodial parent in need of child support payments, you must understand what child support does and does not cover. Here’s what you need to know.
Coverage for Child Support
Many people have asked questions about child support and inheritance. They wonder, for example, what happens if I inherit money — does that impact my support obligations? Or, does inheritance affect support obligations? The short answers are: no, your obligations don’t change unless the court changes them; and no, you don’t have to share that inheritance with the other parent.
Child support coverage is intended to assist with a child’s basic needs in countries, Canada included, such as food, housing, and clothing. Aside from these, a court may approve some additional child support expenses. Raising a child can be expensive in this day and age, especially with rising educational and health-care costs, to name a few factors. Because child support laws vary significantly between U.S. states and other countries, it’s critical to check the child support guidelines in your area to determine how your child support coverage will be determined.
Children require food, clothing, and a safe and comfortable living environment. Child support can be used to buy groceries, snacks, beverages, and other food items. It can also be used to buy shoes, jackets, and other appropriate clothing. In addition, child support includes payments for the child’s related shelter costs (mortgage/rent, lighting, telephone, and utility bills).
Even if a child attends a public school, education is not free; there are several fees and costs associated with supporting school-aged children. As a result, child support can be used to cover a variety of school-related expenses, including school clothes/uniforms, tuition fees, textbooks, lunch money, and private tutors.
Because children require safe transportation from one location to another, child support may be used to pay for basic transportation and travel costs. The cost of maintaining a car, including gas, car payments, registration, and insurance, as well as the cost of riding a bus or other mode of transportation, is covered. For example, when a child travels to see a noncustodial parent who lives in another state.
Child support coverage includes a child’s extracurricular activities, which are typically those that take place outside of regular school hours, such as after-school programs/classes, summer camp, sports activities, clubs, and other non-school-related activities.
Medical Care and Uninsured Medical Expenses
Most states require divorced or separated parents to have health insurance for their children. In most cases, the parent with the better employee-covered benefits will be required to carry the medical, dental, and/or vision insurance plan. Child support can be used to cover uninsured or “extraordinary” medical costs. Some examples of “extraordinary” medical expenses are any out-of-pocket medical costs that exceed the cost of a basic health care insurance plan, including deductibles, co-pays, and surgery costs. Depending on state regulations, parents may be required to split the cost of additional medical care.
Many courts believe that a child has the right to basic entertainment, which includes access to computers, television programs, games, and the internet, as well as trips to movie theaters, amusement parks, camping trips, and other outings. As a result, according to the parents’ agreement, child support may be used for a child’s age-appropriate entertainment desires.
Child support may be used to pay for a child’s college expenses in some cases. Many states believe that a child’s education should not suffer as a result of his or her parent’s divorce or separation. These states typically require a noncustodial parent to contribute to the cost of college, even if the child has reached the age of majority if the child is enrolled full-time and has not yet graduated.
Child support payments are necessary in order to provide a child with the same opportunities as if they were raised in a two-parent household. Consider contacting a family law attorney if you are considering child support claims for your children. They can help you review the circumstances and ensure your child receives adequate support from both parents. In any case, we hope this article helps you come to a better understanding of child support.