What Expenses Does Child Support Cover?

Child support is a critical aspect of ensuring the well-being of children whose parents have separated or divorced. It is a legal obligation that the non-custodial parent pays to the custodial parent to help cover the costs of raising a child. The primary goal of child support is to provide financial support to meet the child's needs and ensure they have access to the same standard of living they would have had if their parents had stayed together. 

Child support can be a contentious issue between parents as the:  

  • paying party often worries about whether their child actually benefits from the money received, and  

  • the recipient parent worries about whether they will receive a substantial enough payment to cover their child’s needs and necessities.  

Expenses Included in Child Support  

Child support covers a range of expenses that are necessary for the child's wellbeing, including housing, food, clothing, healthcare, educational fees and extracurricular activities. Let's take a closer look at each of these expenses: 

  1. Housing. Child support can cover the cost of housing, including rent or mortgage payments, utilities, and home insurance. This ensures that the child has a safe and secure place to live. 

  1. Food. Child support can cover the cost of groceries and meals, as well as any dining out expenses.  

  1. Clothing. Child support can cover the cost of clothing, such as school uniforms, seasonal clothing, and special occasion outfits. Children grow quickly, and it is important to provide them with appropriately fitting clothes. 

  1. Educational fees. Child support can cover the cost of educational fees, such as tuition, books, and supplies. Education is an important investment in a child's future, and if a child has special educational needs, child support can be used and calculated to cover it. 

  1. Extracurricular activities. Child support can cover the cost of extracurricular activities like sports, music lessons, or summer camps. These activities can help a child develop important skills and interests. 

While child support covers many expenses, there are some limitations and exceptions. For example, child support typically does not cover non-essential expenses like luxury items or vacations. Additionally, child support may not cover the full cost of certain expenses, such as private school tuition or travel expenses for visitation. 

To ensure that child support is allocated correctly to cover all necessary expenses, parents can take several steps. First, they should create a budget that includes all the child's expenses. They can then use the child support payments to cover these expenses in order of priority. It is also important for parents to review their child support agreement, as provisions may be included for additional support for travel expenses, costs for special needs, and other monthly needs.  

Talk with Our Attorneys 

At The Neshanian Law Firm, Inc, our attorneys have decades of collective experience, and we represent clients in child support cases. Whether you need help establishing an initial petition, filing to have the support withdrawn from the payor’s income, or modifying your current agreement, we are equipped to help. If you have questions about how the support can be used or about your case, you can also trust our attorneys to offer you honest and transparent counsel.  

Call (949) 577-7935 to get started on your case today.