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What Expenses Should Child Support Be Used For?

Posted on in Family Law

Travis County Family Law AttorneyOne of the most contentious issues between divorcing couples is child support. The parent who receives the support often thinks the amount the other parent has to pay is not enough to cover all the actual expenses of the child, while the parent who has to pay often thinks they are paying too much and questions where the money is going. While the judge is the one that makes the final decision on how much child support should be paid, many parents are still unsure what child support is actually supposed to cover.

How Child Support Works

When parents divorce, they must consider certain issues regarding the children. These issues include child custody and parenting time. Whether or not child support will be paid and which parent will pay is a decision made by the court and usually depends on the amount of time the child will spend with each parent.

Child support is supposed to cover certain expenses, while other expenses usually need to be addressed separately in the parenting agreement. These extra expenses may include childcare costs, medical insurance and medical expenses, extracurricular activities, and sports. Future college tuition is also an issue that should be addressed during divorce negotiations.

The Costs of Raising a Child

Households with children usually have higher expenses than households without children. Typically, there is more space needed, like a bedroom for the child, and this can mean higher rent or mortgage costs. This also means that utility bills will likely be higher. The parent may also need a larger vehicle than an individual without children, and this can mean a higher car payment and insurance. Child support is usually used to help cover those extra costs.

A custodial parent must also provide necessities such as food, clothing, toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.) and healthcare needs (bandages, children’s over-the-counter medicines, etc.). These are also expenses that child support can help cover.

Children also need materials for their education, such as school supplies, activities, and field trips costs. Courts also agree that children are entitled to enjoy certain entertainment items, such as toys, books, and movies. These are all considered part of the costs to raise a child.

Contact a Texas Family Law Attorney

If you are having child support issues, whether you are the parent who receives child support or the parent who is paying, contact Powers and Kerr, PLLC at 512-610-6199 to schedule a free consultation with a skilled Austin child support lawyer. Your attorney will review your case and explain what legal options you may have.




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